Elle Woods takes Starr’s Mill


Yuri-Grace Ohashi, News co-Editor

The Starr’s Mill Fine Arts Department’s annual production is less than two weeks away, so it’s time to start thinking pink.

“Legally Blonde” the musical will hit the Willie Duke Auditorium stage on March 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. and March 13 at 3 p.m. Adult tickets cost $14 and students are $10.

New drama teacher David Klein inherited the responsibility of directing the school musical, having to spring into action and continue the Mill’s reputation of producing stellar shows year after year.

“It’s rare for an educator and group of students to form a bond so quickly,” Klein said. “We already share respect, humor, pride and work ethic, which is truly a beautiful thing.”

Klein considered several possibilities for a musical before settling on “Legally Blonde.” “What drew me to ‘Legally Blonde’ was the students I have,” Klein said. “I have a group of really strong girls and wanted to find a show that would showcase them well.”

His drama classes inspired him to “find a show with nice ensemble roles” to include as many of his passionate students as possible.

“Legally Blonde” draws its inspiration and plot line from the 2001 movie starring actress Reese Witherspoon. Klein said the musical has “name recognition that people would associate with, making them either want to be a part of it or come see it.”

According to Klein, audience members will get to see “Legally Blonde’s” beloved story line come alive on the stage like magic. “The musical follows the movie very strongly does a really good job of bringing music and dance to it,” he said.

The musical is “extremely energetic and upbeat,” Klein said. “It’s a cool story about a woman’s self-empowerment, showing that not everything is superficial and stereotypical.”

Klein also found a way to incorporate the performing talents at the Mill, calling on senior Maddie Beatty to participate in the musical. Beatty was a contestant in the 2016 Miss Starr’s Mill pageant, placing 2nd runner-up. “When I saw her play the violin in the pageant, I thought I might be able to use her talent in ‘Legally Blonde,’” Klein said. Just as the pageant required Beatty to set aside time to practice, the musical requires full commitment from its cast members.

According to Klein, musical rehearsals have been as often as seven days a week and sometimes over holiday breaks. “You have to love it, or you won’t survive,” Klein said. Although several students commit their time and dedication to the production, it takes more to make the show come together.

“Legally Blonde” depends on several parent and student volunteers. Music director Zachary Stutts works as production manager, German teacher Antonela Kljajic as choreographer, drama board member Tracy Rowell as costume designer and students as stage crew. Parent volunteers create all props and sets. “I’ve never had this strong of a parent volunteer base,” Klein said. “I appreciate all that they do.”

Between the parents’ and students’ work, the pieces of “Legally Blonde” are falling into place. With final touches and last-minute rehearsals, the production will be a revival of an all-time favorite movie. “The beautiful thing is [the musical] starts with a vision and ends with a three-dimensional reality,” Klein said.