A very pink musical

Theatre department takes on Legally Blonde


Photo courtesy of Sydney Prasch

Sophomore Madalynn Johnson performing “positive” in Legally Blonde the musical.

Rachel Otu, Staff Reporter

With the start of the hectic school year also came the beginning of fall activities. As their first big production this year, the Millard West drama department put on an unforgettable performance of “Legally Blonde,” the musical.

Based on the classic 2002 movie, the musical follows Elle Woods, a young college student from California who follows who she believes to be her one true love to Harvard Law School. Along the way, she learns about finding confidence in herself and her true love. The musical unpacks themes of sexism, perseverance and self-worth. Sophomore Madeline Johnson took on the leading role of Elle.

“I started to read my lines and sing my songs in late June,” Johnson said. “I also started to walk on a treadmill to build my stamina up for all the singing and dancing I had to do, and obviously, I had to go blonde.”

The drama department began preparations for the show with the help of cast and crew members. With only around three months to bring the show to life on stage, crews began to build the set, find props, promote the show and get costumes together in early July. Not to mention the live dogs that would be joining the cast under the spotlight.

“We had a lot of people reach out with interest in having their dog be in the show,” drama director Brooke Phillips said. “So we had auditions where we called the dogs up to the school and asked them to do some tricks for us and watched how they interacted with other dogs and people. We selected two dogs and two backup dogs. Then we were able to train them in two rehearsals to follow the actors to the spots they needed to go to the show. We had treats to help.”

Many members have recounted “Legally Blonde” as one of the most challenging productions the drama department has had the privilege of putting together in the past few years. With the short time period they had, they were able to put on a spectacular performance despite this. The cast and crew learned how to work together to make the set, costume, prop and lighting changes go smoothly.

“I would say it’s probably the most challenging we’ve done while I’ve been at Millard West,” senior Grace Gutierrez said. “The set was really cool, but also made set changes complicated. The choreography and music also took a lot of practice to get right.”

Despite the challenges and complications that the cast and crew faced, they were able to bring the breathtaking story of Elle Woods to life.