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Dumb blonde? I object!
Local teenagers to perform 'Legally Blonde: The Musical'
By Claire K. Racine
Elle Woods, played by Kim Maguire, tries to convince the admissions officer, played by Lucas Pettinato of Harrison, to accept her to Harvard Law School backed up by her fellow Delta Nu sorority sisters.
During a romantic dinner, Warner Huntington III, played by Joshua Thomas of New Rochelle, explains to Elle Woods, played by Kim Maguire, that he needs to get serious if he is going to go to law school and become a senator. “Legally Blonde: The Musical” will be performed Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20 at 8 p. m. at the Dunn Performing Arts Center at Rye Country Day School, Cedar Street, Rye.
Kim Maguire has been blonde her entire life but has never been a "dumb blonde" until now. The Port Chester teenager will get to embrace the ditzy stereotype while shattering it at the same time as the star of the summer production of "Legally Blonde: The Musical."
Elle Woods, played by Maguire, is a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend, but ends up falling in love with law and the legal system instead. Portraying Elle in the Port Chester Council for the Arts/Village of Port Chester summer Youth/Teen Theatre production is one of Maguire's dream roles and different from any part she has played before.
"You get to be ditzy and kind of a typical dumb blonde, but at the same time, she's smart and stronger than she thinks she is," Maguire said. "Even when she's looking for herself, she still owns who she is at that time and I admire that quality."
Like Elle, Maguire has plans to pursue higher education in Boston. While Elle heads to Harvard Law, Maguire will be starting at Berklee College of Music in September. The newly graduated Port Chester High School student wants to major in music therapy.
Lindsay Nuckel, another recent graduate, but from Blind Brook High School, also plans to keep music in her life, possibly even double majoring in theater in college.
"It's such a large part of my life and I couldn't imagine it without it," said the Rye Brook resident.
Nuckel saw "Legally Blonde" on Broadway and immediately was drawn to the character Paulette, spunky beautician and Elle's confidante.
"I remember thinking 'that would be such a fun part to play,'" she said. "I love pushing the boundaries of comedic characters."
Unlike in the movie, on stage Paulette needs to be have even more pizazz, which thrilled Nuckel. "There's a lot more dramatics," she said. "She's got to be a little louder."
Unlike Maguire and Nuckel, when Julie Colangelo first heard about "Legally Blonde," she thought it an insult to musical theater and never imagined she would end up directing a production of it, but then she actually listened to the songs and dialogue.
"If you sit down and watch it, it is one of those really clever shows," said Colangelo, a teacher at the Port Chester Middle School.
Furthermore, based on the students who auditioned this year, it seemed the perfect fit for her cast. "I have the perfect kids for the parts," she said.
The show, however, is one of the hardest technically that she has produced. For example, normally she can use lighting to designate different scenes and settings without requiring actual set changes. This is not possible for "Legally Blonde," requiring the eight-person crew to work quickly and efficiently to ensure a smooth show. Thankfully, the cast chips in whenever possible, making sure their props and set pieces are in the right places.
"It's all about being part of a community theater," Colangelo said.
Originally, Luke Glockenberg was uncertain about such a girly show, but like Colangelo, he came around to it. After watching several scenes, the Port Chester resident discovered that even though it centers around a female lead, the male roles are also important to the storyline.
Glockenberg has never played a jerk before but relished the opportunity to step into Professor Callahan's shoes.
"It's been fun to switch it up," he said, adding that he had a couple of teachers like that his freshman year of college.
Now a junior at Quinnipiac University, Glockenberg decided to mimic the stance of some of the professors he has had and stands up straight, hand in his pocket, while lecturing his "students" on stage.
Participants in the PCCFA Youth/Teen Theatre program include both high school students and those who have already graduated. This year's show has a cast of more than 30, "a who's who of Westchester," Colangelo said. In addition to Rye Brook and Port Chester, actors in "Legally Blonde" live in Rye, White Plains, Pelham, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Harrison, Briarcliff Manor, Cos Cob and Greenwich.
"Legally Blonde" will be performed Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20 at 8 p. m. at the Dunn Performing Arts Center at Rye Country Day School, Cedar Street, Rye. Tickets are $12 for the general public, $10 for seniors 65 and older and children 12 and younger. To reserve tickets, call (914) 939-3183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are cash or check only.
Also this summer the PCCFA, in cooperation with the Village of Port Chester, will be producing "Annie, Jr." on July 26 and 27 and "The Taming of the Shrew" on Aug. 2-4 and 8-10.
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