Manhattanville College Roots for the (Musical) Underdog with Production of Legally Blonde
PURCHASE, NY, FEBRUARY 24, 2022 – Manhattanville College students and faculty gathered inside the intimate Little Theatre to watch Elle Woods, Warner Huntington III, Emmett Forrest, et al be brought to life by musical theatre majors in a run-through of Legally Blonde two days before opening night of the latest production on campus.
The musical, based on a book by Heather Hach, premiered on Broadway in 2007 with music and lyrics by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O’Keefe.
“There are so many great, empowering things about this show,” said Manhattanville’s Director of Musical Theatre Studies, Beth Burrier, who is directing this production. “For one, it has a strong female lead. It’s a richly-textured fun show chock-a-block with fleshed-out female-identifying characters in a contemporary setting.”
Emma Wellington, a senior at Manhattanville who plays Kate and the courtroom stenographer, says that for her the show is something more than a musical.
“Growing up, Legally Blonde was a staple in my house,” said Wellington. “My sisters and I were all big fans, to the point where we wore out the soundtrack CD. The musical soundtrack for this show is legendary to me. The show is so full of energy. It’s like a firecracker, and I hope we do it justice.”
Assembling a talented, diverse cast came naturally according to Burrier. “We have a Latinx Elle, not because it checked any box, but we simply cast the best people for each role and ended up with this vibrant, amazing group of actors,” said Burrier. “We were also able to bring back a 2021 graduate of Manhattanville to be the choreographer and associate director.”
Katy Colón, who plays Elle Woods, spoke about the production and stepping into the role of such an iconic character. “The show is a lot of work and requires a lot of energy, but I really think it’s a great, empowering show about strong women, and I can’t wait to share our portrayal of Elle with everyone,” said Colón.
Manhattanville students Sabrinna Fabi (costume design), Anthony Migliori (stage manager), and lighting from Tom Simpson bring the lush, candy pink world of Elle Woods to life. Their goal was to create a magical experience for the audience. Burrier felt that in 2022, two years from the start of the pandemic, it was important to have a spring musical feel truly fun and celebratory.
The two-and-a-half-hour play runs February 24 – 27, and stars Katy Colón, Ali Mounkary, Gordon Evans, Layla Vafiadis, Álvaro Medina, Kathleen Rembish, Olivia Swanson, Marina Kolitsas, Emma Wellington, Lia Pila, et al Masks and proof of vaccination are required to attend the event, with students and seniors able to attend for free with an ID. General admission is $5 cash only. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and further information.
About Manhattanville College: Manhattanville College is a small, private liberal arts institution dedicated to academic excellence, purposeful education, and social justice. Located 30 miles from New York City on a 100-acre suburban campus in the heart of bustling Westchester County, Manhattanville enables easy access to robust entertainment offerings, educational resources, and business opportunities for its primarily residential and diverse student body. The College serves more than 1,500 undergraduate students and nearly 1,000 graduate students from more than 44 countries and 33 states. Founded in 1841, the College offers more than 75 undergraduate and graduate areas of study in the arts and sciences, education, business, and creative writing, as well as continuing and executive education programs. Graduate students can choose from over 70 graduate and certificate programs. Extracurricular offerings include more than 45 clubs and 20 NCAA Division III teams. To learn more, visit www.mville.edu.
Contact: Cara Cea, email@example.com, 914-323-1278 or 914-906-9680.
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