Press Release: “Broadway Star Shines on Walnut Creek Stage”
Legally Blonde – The Musical
This is a fun, non-stop musical adaption of the popular movie
By: Susan Dowey, Publisher
Macaroni Kid, Walnut Creek
If you like the movie Legally Blonde with Reese Witherspoon, you will love Legally Blonde The Musical, the latest show presented by the Diablo Theatre Company. I was fortunate to be a guest of the show last weekend. In a word, I found the show to be FANTASTIC!
The star of the show is Bailey Hanks who is reprising her role as Elle Woods from the Broadway production of Legally Blonde. Ms. Hanks actually won the Broadway role as part of an MTV reality series where she won the top spot out of 500 young women hoping for their shot at the spotlight.
Legally Blonde is the story of Elle, the pretty UCLA sorority girl with a passion for fashion. Elle and her Delta Nu sorority sisters open the show with the musical number Omigod You Guys as Elle prepares for what she hopes will be a romantic proposal from her handsome boyfriend Warner Huntington III, played by Frankie Mulcahy. Elle is shocked when Warner breaks up with her as he gets ready to head off to Harvard with plans of finding a girl who fits his Ivy League visions of a perfect law school mate.
Elle decides that she will do whatever it takes to win Warner back and she hits the books and applies to Harvard Law School. Elle prevails and wins her spot in the Harvard Law School freshman class and heads off to win her boyfriend back. She is surprised to find that Warner has already found a new girlfriend who completes his vision of the perfect power couple. Elle finds a friend and mentor in her law professor’s assistant Emmett Forrest, charmingly played by Ian Leonard. Emmett supports Elle as she wins a coveted intern spot with their law Professor and helps her see that she is more than the pretty, pink glad, sorority girl and can be a legal whiz in her own right. Elle also befriends an endearing local beauty shop owner Paulette played by Lynda DiVito. Some of the more comical moments of the show involve Paulette and the UPS man (Ted Curry) that she swoons over as he struts into her salon in his brown shorts and hiking boots.
Hanks is charming and vivacious in the role and seemingly channels Reese Witherspoon from the movie in her voice and mannerisms. The entire cast does a fantastic job as they perform in non-stop musical numbers with comedic flair. The sets were used very creatively to evoke the feel of the different settings in the show from the sunny campus of UCLA to the Northeast feel of Harvard.
Parents should know that there are a few sexual references in the show that are fairly equivalent to a PG-13 movie and each parent will need to decide for themselves what age child they will bring to see the show. The show would be very fun for a mother/teen daughter, ladies or date night out.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the box office, online or by phone. Ticket prices range from $34 – $44 with discounts for students, seniors and groups. The show is playing weekends through March 3rd.
Box office: The Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr. in Walnut Creek
Tickets by phone: (925) 943-SHOW (7469)
A special Q & A session with the cast and crew of Legally Blonde: The Musical will take place immediately following the 8pm performances on Saturday, Feb. 18th, Thursday, Feb. 23rd & Thursday, March 1st. Patrons are asked to stay in their seats after the curtain call and a moderator will come out with instructions. The talkback will last for approximately 30 minutes.Leave a Comment
Contra Costa Times
By: Pat Craig
Here’s all the cut-to-the-chase information you need about “Legally Blonde,” now playing at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center.
Get your tickets. NOW.
Seriously, this isn’t some cutesy gimmick — the show was wall-to-wall sold out for this past weekend’s opener. In addition, the show had been selling well before opening night — that is, before Hurricane Bailey stormed across the stage leading a hugely energetic and talented cast in a wild and wonderful attack on Harvard Law School, proving the power of tenacity and blonde ambition.
The hurricane in this case is Bailey Hanks, the last performer to play Elle Woods in the recently ended Broadway production of “Legally Blonde” (she won a nationwide MTV talent search to snag the role). She is a tower of talent who so loves the role of Elle that she wanted to continue playing it. Lucky for us, because they don’t get much better than Bailey.
And, also lucky for us, director Gia Solari has surrounded her lead with some enormously gifted performers who offer stunning performances and raise the already high bar of Lesher Center musicals, which just seem to get better and better.
“Legally Blonde” probably will never join the pantheon of great American musical comedies, but it is well-crafted, tuneful and clever. The piece is aimed primarily at the junior high and high school age girls who first fell in love with the “Blonde” franchise with the nonmusical movies. The tales are filled with pink clothing, lots of shopping, dreamy boys here and there, college sorority fun and a girl-power theme. They were sort of post-Barbie stories that introduced a feminist heroine with a great fashion sense.
From the get-go, Elle had her heart and mind set on getting into Harvard Law School. At first, it was to chase her boyfriend and assumed fiancé, Warner, and win him back. When Elle hits the Ivy League, she discovers a few things — that there are lots of boys, even right there at law school, who like girls who aren’t empty-headed; and that there is plenty of important work a girl can do if she is able to get a good education.
So the message is right there. In the musical, the script is filled with lines and humor that is directed more at adults, so parents can feel like they made the right entertainment decision.
The show is packaged very well with excellent choreography by Solari and Renee DeWeese. It also benefits from well-performed music directed by Sean Kana and excellent costume design by Tammy Berlin.
The acting is excellent from top to bottom, but there are some outstanding performances by Hanks; Tom Reardon (who plays a treasured professor who is not all he seems); Lynda DiVito as Paulette, the owner of a local beauty salon; Ted Curry as the UPS driver who drives Paulette wild; and Ian Leonard as Emmett, a dashing student adviser.
Contact Pat Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘LEGALLY BLONDE — The Musical’
By Laurence O’Keefe, Nell Benjamin and Heather Hatch; presented by Diablo Theatre Company
Through: March 3
Where: Dean Lesher Center for the Arts, Civic Drive at Locust, Walnut Creek
Running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Tickets: $34-$48; 925-798-7469, www.diablotheatre.org
Contra Costa Times
By Pat Craig
That’s when the story took a sharp turn and the fantasy didn’t end. And that’s why, five years later, Hanks is in Walnut Creek, reprising her dream role for Diablo Theatre Company.
Call goes out
While the kids in kitten heels were tick-tick-ticking up and down Broadway in New York, dragging their moms and dads to the Palace Theatre where “Blonde” was playing, Bailey was a college student. Then she learned MTV was planning to turn the audition for “Blonde’s” next Elle into a bit of reality television, “Legally Blonde — The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.”
“I had to do this, I absolutely had to do this, I thought,” said Bailey, who turned 24 this week. “My dad took me to Nashville, which was the closest place for a regional audition.”
It was not all that different from all the other auditions she’d attended since she was 7, winning roles in such musicals as “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Music Man” and “Gypsy.” They had her sing a couple of songs, then invited her to a callback the next day, where she’d dance a little and perform material for the show. Then it was, “Thank you very much,” and back home to wait.
“After a week or two, they called me and said they wanted me to fly to New York for a callback,” she says. “They didn’t tell me what I’d do.”
In New York, she discovered she was one among 500 Elle Woods wannabes. She was expected to go through several rounds of auditions, facing off against some girls who had already auditioned for the Broadway production.
By the end of the first MTV episode, the 500 had been winnowed to 15 in several not-so-easy increments and, finally, after several more episodes, it was just Bailey and one other girl, who ended up cast in a supporting role in the show.
“The stress of a reality show is really tough, because you feel like you’re always with an audience and you have no time to be by yourself and focus. You were just shoved into a room with a bunch of girls and a camera in your face,” Bailey says. “The fact you had to adjust was sometimes really obnoxious.”
Auditions themselves, at least in the early going, were a piece of cake, she said. She’d been playing the role herself since junior high, so she had both the dialogue and the songs down cold, while some of the others weren’t that familiar with the material.
In the last audition, the two finalists had to do two full-scale scenes — costumes, makeup and blocking — for the cameras. They had to be 100 percent Elle Woods, the Southern California sorority girl who decides to win back her boyfriend by following him to Harvard Law School.
Of course (this being a musical comedy, and all), Elle pulls it off, winning a big case, bagging an even better boy, learning something about herself and becoming a better person.
If only auditions worked like that — but this time, for Bailey, they did and for a good part of a year, she played Elle on Broadway.
Born to be blonde
She’s played several other roles since then, but Elle has always been her favorite. This is a girl, after all, who reportedly has a pink Volkswagen Bug that she dubbed her “Legally Blonde Mobile.”
So she was pleased when Diablo Theatre Company artistic director Daren Carollo called and invited her to star in the Walnut Creek production.
“California? I’ve never been there before. Count me in,” she says. “I knew this was one of the first companies in California to do this, and that it had the pre-Broadway tryout in San Francisco. Yes, count me in.”
Carollo and “Blonde” director Gia Solari had seen a tape of Bailey’s performance, and “there was no doubt” about offering her the role. And they haven’t been disappointed.
“We thought there’d be some ego, but there isn’t,” says Carollo. “She’s smart, kind, incredibly funny, incredibly warm, and totally professional and goes above and beyond. She truly is one of the best we’ve had in the building.” Carollo says Bailey attends every moment of rehearsals, even when she’s scheduled to be off, and he was surprised to catch her at a recent performance of Stars 2000 (the Diablo Theatre Company youth group).
“I asked her what she was doing there, and she said she just wanted to support the group,” he says. “She even came up on stage and helped pull raffle tickets.”
Bailey says her biggest challenge is having to unlearn the choreography from the Broadway show, often quite different from DTC’s production.
But she’s been handling big-time pressure since she was 13 and was invited to sing the national anthem at an event then-President Bill Clinton was attending. The kid sang so well, Clinton asked to meet her, even though she was told before the event he wouldn’t. But she had her photo taken with the president and got to stand behind the podium with the presidential seal on it.
And, once the show opens, she’ll be able to spend more time exploring at least pieces of California.
Contact Pat Craig at email@example.com.
- Hanks was acting in local theater growing up in South Carolina, appearing in productions of “The Wizard of Oz” (as Dorothy), “Seussical the Musical,” “Gypsy,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Music Man,” “A Year With Frog and Toad,” “Annie,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” among others.
- Hanks sang the national anthem for President Bill Clinton in 2000. The president was impressed enough to ask to meet her afterward.
- Hanks auditioned unsuccessfully for “American Idol” in 2007.
- “Legally Blonde” was nominated for seven Tony Awards in 2007 but did not win in any category.
- Hanks played the lead on Broadway’s “Blonde” July 23-Oct. 19, 2008.
- Less than a month after finishing “Blonde,” Hanks began a stint as Sharpay Evans in a production of “High School Musical” at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, Nov. 5-Dec. 7, 2008.
- Hanks starred as a candidate for high school class president in “Vote!,” a musical comedy that was part of the New York City Fringe Festival in 2009.
CURTAIN CALLS: ‘Blonde’ has wonderful cast, and heart
By Sally Hogarty
Posted: 02/16/2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Diablo Theatre Company opened “Legally Blonde” in a pink haze this past weekend at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek. The frothy mix of costumer Tammy Berlin’s outrageously pink outfits for Elle Woods (Bailey Hanks), slightly trashy creations for the employees of the hair salon and the subdued lawyer and student ensembles mirrors the show’s content as well.
I went into the show, as I did the movie, expecting total fluff. Once again, I was surprised at the amount of substance and heart it contained. I’m not talking Eugene O’Neill, but this musical does have some meat to it, as Elle leaves her Southern California sorority to win back her former boyfriend at Harvard Law. As everyone makes fun of her, Elle surprises them — and herself — with her intellect, acing her classes, winning court cases and turning down her former boyfriend when he finally proposes.
Gia Solari has found a wonderful cast to bring the diverse characters to life, including Bailey Hanks, who played Elle on Broadway. Banks certainly shines as the woman who loves everything pink, but she is well supported by a cast that knows how to create eccentric characters that you can’t help caring about, especially Linda DiVito, who practically steals the show as the hairdresser Paulette.
The choreography by both Solari and Renee DeWeese is a visual treat full of acrobatics and inventive moves. While no credit is given for the set design, the large rotating elements make for flawless set changes. Music director Sean Kana and his orchestra performed the lively musical numbers with aplomb, allowing the audience to hear the vocals, but there were still some sound problems on opening night. Others sitting near me in the balcony also mentioned not hearing or understanding all the words to songs. But the Hoffman Theatre has always been a difficult venue for sound engineers, and this may just be one flaw we’ll have to live with.
“Legally Blonde” continues through March 3. Call 925-943-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
Bailey Hanks talks blonde moments and landing the starring role in Legally Blonde the musical.
By Angela Sasse
Bailey Hanks knows it takes more than pretty hair to win the role of a lifetime.
After years of singing lessons, dance classes, and community theater, she won the MTV reality contest Legally Blonde, the Musical: the Search for Elle Woods. That landed Hanks the starring role in the Broadway adaptation of the hit Reese Witherspoon movie, and now she is re-creating the part for Diablo Theatre Company’s upcoming production.
“I’ve learned a lot from Elle in my own life,” says 24-year-old Hanks of the ditzy-but-not-dumb heroine, who becomes a star legal student at Harvard. “She’s funny, she’s strong, and whenever life knocks her down, she picks herself right back up.”
Still, Hanks is not above sharing a “blonde moment” of her own, when asked what she thinks of the silly jokes made at the expense of the fair-haired.
“One time, my little sister came home from elementary school and told us she was studying Mother Teresa,” says Hanks. “I asked, ‘Wait, was Mother Teresa a real person?’ I always thought she was like a fairy godmother character from make-believe.”
Legally Blonde, the Musical, February 10–March 3, at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, diablotheatre.org.
This article appears in the February 2012 issue of Diablo Magazine
What you can learn from a blonde
Walnut Creek Patch
Posted on February 6, 2012 at 8:12 am
By: Martha Ross
Were you in a sorority? I wasn’t. I rushed during my first weeks in college. I was curious to see what all this Pan-Hellenic business was all about but quickly realized that I wasn’t the sorority type.
What is the sorority type? If it’s not me, then it certainly is Elle Woods.
Elle is the heroine of the 2001 film comedy Legally Blonde, starring Reese Witherspoon, and a Broadway show, Legally Blonde, the Musical, inspired by the movie. Walnut Creek-based Diablo Theatre Company is bringing the show to the Lesher Center for the Arts, starting Friday, and is very excited to have Bailey Hanks playing Elle Woods.
Hanks starred as Elle on Broadway, filling the stiletto pumps of a heroine who represents all the stereotypes of the sorority girl. Elle is blonde, pretty, loves the color pink and is fanatical about fashion.
To the wicked delight of some of us non-sorority types – who envy Elle’s seemingly perky life — she gets something of a comeuppance early in the show. She gets dumped by her Harvard Law-bound boyfriend who proclaims that she’s not “serious” enough.
The show is about Elle proving to her boyfriend, all the rest of us, and ultimately herself that she is anything but a stereotype. She nails the LSATs, gains admission to Harvard Law and emerges as a star student.
Legally Blonde’s Elle belongs in that American tradition of golden-haired leading ladies – Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, Born Yesterday’s Billie Dawn — who defy the label of “dumb blonde” and demonstrate cores of brains, heart and moxie.
“Life is full of tough times, so just toss the hair, gloss the lips, and put on your best shoes and snap back up.” So says Elle, explaining her motto of “Bend and Snap” in response to life’s challenges. Elle also believes that a confident smile can help a girl face any situation with grace and style.
You can read Elle’s “Tips for Being Totally Fabulous” on the Diablo Theatre Company website. And, yes, she really does believe everyone can look pretty in pink and advises people to follow their instincts. “I’m not saying that your instincts will always be right, but more often than not, they are. Trust me. When it comes to taking risks, don’t go all crazy (avoid 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioners at all cost).”
During the run of Legally Blonde, the Musical through March 3, Hanks will do audience Q&As following the following shows: Friday, Feb. 10; Thursday, Feb. 23, and Thursday, March 1.
For tickets and showtimes, call (925) 943-SHOW (7469) or visit www.lesherartscenter.org.
Martha Ross, former editor of Walnut Creek Patch, provides PR for the Lesher Center for the Arts and the Diablo Regional Arts Associaiton.
BWW Interviews LEGALLY BLONDE’s Bailey Hanks!
Feb. 3, 2012
By Linda Hodges
Bailey Hanks is blonde. She’s beautiful. And she’s here in the bay area reprising her role as Elle Woods in the the hit musical comedy, Legally Blonde, the Musical! After an acclaimed turn on Broadway (she won the role after knocking down the competition in MTV’s The Search for Elle Woods) she’s taken to the road and is making the role her own. Legally Blonde, the Musical! will be bending and snapping in the Diablo Theatre Company’s production starting Feb. 10 and running through Mar. 3
Hanks talked with BWW’s Linda Hodges about what it was like to be in the MTV spotlight, how she handles the challenges in her life what scrumptious thing she and Elle have in common – besides being blondes! That interview follows.
L: Hi, Bailey – thank you for doing this interview with BroadwayWorld San Francisco and welcome to the City by the Bay. It’s a thrill for us to have Legally Blonde, the Musical back on the west coast after it had its pre-Broadway tryouts here in San Francisco.
You had your pre-Broadway tryout before an MTV audience for their reality show, The Search for Elle Woods. It was in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers. What was that like?
B: Well, my pre-Broadway run was in front of a TV audience but, while filming it was easy to forget that cameras were around us 24/7 because I was so focused on winning the ultimate prize and making my dreams come true.
L: The show had amazing ratings. It just caught on like wildfire.
B: Once the show aired (which was about 4 months after we wrapped filming) it was crazy to see the large response from people and fans from all over…and once the show aired in the US it began airing in the UK and Australia…so it was AMAZING to hear from fans overseas!
L: Before you found out about MTV’s The Search for Elle Woods, what projects were you working on?
B: Before that I was helping backstage and doing costumes for the local production of Cinderella. (I wasn’t in it because I was off at Coastal Carolina College and missed auditions). So I helped dress Cinderella! Then I was accepted into Belmont University’s musical theatre department the week after my Legally Blonde auditions. Sooooo…it was a huge decision…college or a chance of a lifetime? Needless to say I made the right choice because I WON!
L: You certainly made your dreams come true. And now you’re playing sorority sister Elle in a completely new setting here on the west coast. Was it a simple shift or were there challenges?
B: Well, this process here at Diablo Theatre has TRULY pushed me, challenged me and made me (I think) a better Elle than I was before. I have to learn a totally new show, new people, new relationships, new sets and stage…and I get the creative freedom to bring Bailey to Elle.
L: Let’s talk a little bit about you and your character. Elle is from California and you’re from South Carolina. Other differences?
B: Besides the obvious…she is from California. And she comes from a wealthy Bev Hills family, and I do not. Ha ha!
L: Yeah, not too many people fit that profile. I mean just the size of her swimming pool (in the movie version) seemed bigger than most houses! Similarities?
B: We are blonde, we’re both belles, we can be naive and believe in others and in ourselves. We are optimistic and loving. I learn from her every day while in the process of rehearsals. She is such an awesome, strong woman!
L: What’s your favorite thing about Elle?
B: My favorite thing about Elle is her compassion for others, and her determination. When she gets knocked down, she finds a new way to get up and go! And try it again.
L: I love how much Elle grows. She’s confident in her role as Sorority president but turns to mush when her boyfriend dumps her. Then, as we know, Elle eventually comes into her own. Are we all like that where men are concerned? (Wouldn’t it be great if we could just skip that stage!) Have you ever been a fool for love?
B: HA! I think it would be a lie if ANYONE said they have never been a fool for love. Of course I have! Probably one too many times for the WRONG person. But, just like Elle I have grown and found my Emmett! Someone who loves me for ME, and believes in me and what I want for my life.
L: Well, that blows my question about what it’s like to date while on the road! Is it serious with your “Emmett?”
B: I am in a very committed relationship Jason. He’s a wonderful guy. He’s not in the business; he’s actually in public relations. Being away from him during this process has been very hard but he supports me and loves me. He will be here for my opening night at the Lesher!
L: He sounds scrumptious! And while you’re here at the Lesher Theatre you’re going to be celebrating a birthday. First, happy early birthday! And second, how do you plan on celebrating? Will your parents be able to come out?
B: My 24th birthday is Feb 6th…just 4 days before opening night. So for my b-day I’ll be in tech rehearsals from 11am to 11pm, ha ha ! That’s the price you pay. But Jason will be here on the 9th and that will be an awesome gift. My parents won’t be able to make it but they bought me NEW pink and dark grey Nikes!
L: Okay – that’s very “Elle.” Your parents sound great. Do they help you stay grounded?
B: Staying grounded hasn’t been too hard for me. I know I am a normal person…and my parents have always kept me humble and if ever I begin to get a big head…they knock me down a few notches. I know that the Lord has blessed me with so much and I give all the thanks to him.
L: It sounds like your faith helps keep you grounded.
B: I am Christian and that is something I am not ashamed to say. I have gone through quite the journey, ups and downs and I thank the Lord for being there for me every minute and helping pick me back up during my lows.
L: Well, you’re definitely on a high right now. You’re living your dream of being an actress, singer and dancer – a triple-threat to be sure!. Is it everything you thought it would be? Any surprises?
B: Being a triple threat is all that it’s cracked up to be…hard! No surprises came my way – I’ve been doing this since I was 6…so I was fully prepared.
L: What is your favorite part of the show?
B: I love every part of this show…but right now my fave part is “Bend and Snap” and “Legally Blonde.” I never realized until now how beautiful “Legally Blonde” the song is. WOW!
L: Those are my two favorites as well. Why do you think Legally Blonde, the Musical is such a big hit?
B: Legally Blonde was successful because not only is it such a wonderful movie, but the show is SO easy to love. It’s uplifting and encouraging and who doesn’t love a strong, beautiful female heroine!
L: Yes, beautiful – and definitely not a mean girl. But you got to play Sharpay in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of High School Musical – and she is definitely a mean girl. Was it fun to cut loose and play Sharpay?
B: It was fun to play Sharpay, but I found myself feeling so bad for being SO BAD! Ha ha!
L: So, from High School to Law School. Amanda Broom wrote the book Legally Blonde after attending Stanford Law. Would you ever consider going to Law School?
B: I considered Law school waaay back in the day…because my father always told me I could argue with a brick wall!
L: That’s funny! I think playing Elle has got to be more fun than writing legal briefs but wouldn’t it be great to do both! What words of advice would you give to young people who want to sing on Broadway?
B: I always encourage my younger fans or students I teach that you need to stay involved in musical theatre, audition for everything, never give up if you don’t make it, and stay involved in classes, workshops, and master classes.
L: It must be great for them to have you as their teacher. Have you gotten to meet/work with any of your own idols?
B: Well, I LOVE Reese Witherspoon. She is the ultimate one…so when that day comes…speechless! But I have gotten to work for Tyler Perry, on Meet The Browns. I’m not only a HUGE Tyler Perry fan, but I love Meet The Browns. Getting to act on that show was a dream come true!
L: Do you remember the feeling you had when you signed your first autograph? Other than for family members and friends?
B: The first time I went out the stage door after my opening night for Legally Blonde, I was amazed at how many people were waiting to get MY autograph. CRAZY! The line nearly wrapped around the block.
L: I don’t have a crystal ball but I foresee lots of autograph signing in your future – starting here in the bay area on opening night. Bailey, we’re very excited to welcome you to the west coast.
And lastly, what’s next for you?
B: After this production I’ll be will heading back home to Nashville to being in my boyfriend’s sister’s wedding then I will be the maid of honor in my older sister’s wedding…then in June I’m off to Birmingham, AL to do Legally Blonde all over again.
Thanks so much, Bailey. Best of luck to you in this show and in all your future endeavors.
Legally Blonde, the Musical!
February 10 – March 3
Director Gia Solari
Photo courtesy of www.benkrantz.com
Diablo Theatre Company
1948 Oak Park Boulevard
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 – (925) 944-1565
• Daren A.C. Carollo (925) 262-2102
LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL –
Feb. 10 through Mar. 3
Broadway Star Shines on Walnut Creek Stage In
Legally Blonde, The Musical
Fans of pink couture, Chihuahua bling and hard-won success at Harvard Law School, all while looking totally fab, are in for a big treat, as Bailey Hanks reprises her Broadway starring role in Legally Blonde, The Musical, with Diablo Theatre Company at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek.
The popular movie, and winner of dozens of nominations on Broadway in its adaptation as a musical, provides an evening of fun, energetic music, and inspiring messages for rising stars young and old.
In a first for Walnut Creek and the Lesher Center, the star of a Broadway show will be reprising her role in the local production.
In the story, President of the sorority, Elle Woods, sets out to prove herself after being dumped by her boyfriend for someone more “serious.” Packing her pumps and pet Chihuahua, Bruiser, Elle heads to Harvard Law School where she pulls off unexpected and unconventional successes, all while being true to herself.
The star of the show, Bailey Hanks, played Elle Woods on Broadway for a hundred shows after winning the MTV nationwide reality competition, Legally Blonde – The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods. Taking a break from rehearsals at the Diablo Theatre Firehouse, Bailey had a lot to say about the new production.
“This is a chance for me to show more of what I believe Elle Woods is made of. I think at heart, Elle Woods is a Southern Belle from Southern California. She’s classy and innocent and kind – with a strong fashion sense – and has some fired determination burning deep down inside.”
While Legally Blonde is known as a comedy, there’s a heartfelt message, especially for young women and girls. “It’s especially important to me that I portray a role model, and I believe that Elle Woods is a great role model. While Elle loves fashion, every girl should also know that being true to yourself is one thing that never goes out of style – it’s the ultimate fashion statement.”
The show is directed by Gia Solari, with Sean Kana as Musical Director and choreography by Gia Solari and Renee DeWeese.
The Diablo Theatre Company is producing the show, which runs from February 10th through March 3rd at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek.
Principals: Bailey Hanks (Elle Woods), Ian Leonard (Emmett Forrest), Frankie Mulcahy (Warner Huntington III), Brenna Wahl (Vivienne Kensington), Mary Kalita (Brooke Wyndam/Shandi), Lynda DiVito (Paulette), Tom Reardon (Professor Callahan), Lital Abrahams (Serena), Riley Krull (Margot), Taylor Jones (Pilar)
Ensemble: Sarah Hammond, Lindsay Roebuck, Erica Kimble, Kelly Cooper, Meghan Ihle, Amelia Hart, Monica Turner, Suzie Shepard, Jihan Sabir, Ted Curry, Danny Cunningham, Greg Sottolano, Min Kahng, Michael Scott Wells, Alex Rodriguez, Sean Libiran, Dane Paul Andres, Ben Bogen, Isaiah Boyd, Alex Acevedo, Brett Cashen, Morgan Frazer, Bryan Pangilinan, Bam Bam, Lucy
If You Go
WHAT: Diablo Theatre Company’s production of “Legally Blonde, The Musical”
WHEN: 8 p.m. Feb 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, Mar 1, 2, 3; 2 p.m. Feb 18, 19, 25, 26
WHERE: Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek
RUNNING TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes, one intermission
TICKETS: $17-$48 (925) 943-7469; www.lesherartscenter.org, www.diablotheatre.org