Emily Cochrane walked out of the Palace Theatre on Broadway in 2008 wanting to become Elle Woods, the ditzy lead character in the musical, “Legally Blonde.”
On Friday night, the Quince Orchard student has her chance.
For the past three months Cochrane has been rehearsing her role as Woods to get ready for Quince Orchard’s musical presentation of “Legally Blonde.”
“It’s amazing. It’s so much fun,” Cochrane, a junior at Quince Orchard, said. “I just can’t wait to finally get out there.”
The first of six shows is 7 p.m. on Friday, March 16, followed by afternoon and evening performances on Saturday, March 17, an evening performance on Friday, March 23, and another afternoon and evening run on Saturday, March 24.
The musical is based on the book by Amanda Brown and the comedy film that came out in 2001. It opened on Broadway in April 2007 and grossed more than $1 million per week on several occasions, according to Box Office Mojo.
It received seven Tony Award nominations and 10 Drama Desk nominations, according to its website.
The plot revolves around Elle Woods and her attempt to win back her boyfriend, Warner, played by Quince Orchard senior Steven Gresh, as she chases him to Harvard Law School.
“Emily is Elle personified,” said Director Scott Tarzwell, an English teacher at the school. “She fits the lead role except that she is a natural brunette, and she didn’t want to wear a wig, so she had to die her hair blonde.”
After four hours of hair coloring and anxiety, Cochrane became Elle Woods—blonde hair and all.
“I almost had an anxiety attack getting it done,” she said laughing before rehearsal on Wednesday. “All my family is blonde except for me, so my mom loves it.”
Tarzwell has been preparing his cast for the production since December, although “Legally Blonde” was not the original choice. The school was supposed to produce “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” a 1967 musical. However, Music Theatre International, a theatrical licensing agency, contacted the school and told it that the rights to “Legally Blonde” were available. For $1,100 each night the musical would be in production, it was Quince Orchard’s show to produce.
“I knew we were going to do ‘Legally Blonde,’” said Gresh, standing with Cochrane on Wednesday. “It’s new and it’s way better for a high school audience.”
Tarzwell expects the Quince Orchard auditorium, which holds up to 1,100 people, to be sold out on the evening shows. The tickets are $8 for students and $12 for adults. The proceeds are used as a fundraiser for the drama department and a portion is also donated to a charity of the department’s choice. The Montgomery County Humane Society is this year’s recipient.
“We have two live dogs in the show this year, so we decided to go with them this year,” said Tarzwell, who formerly directed plays and musicals in Port Huron, Mich. “It’s a good cause and it’s also a huge fundraiser for next year’s show for us.”
As the cast and crew work out the finishing touches for Friday, he added, “Everybody is so excited. The kids have yet to hear applause or perform in front of the audience.”
“Now we can finally see it all come together.”