from the Star--Waterloo--Unlike some shows, co-director Kent Johnson did not have to explain the story of this year's spring musical to his DeKalb High School cast members.
His students already knew the story of "Legally Blonde."
"Most of these kids have the Reese Witherspoon movie memorized," Johnson said.
The musical version of the story is even better than the movie, Johnson believes. Audiences will find out when DeKalb presents the show Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Reserved seats cost $8.
"It has grown on me, maybe more than other shows that we've done," Johnson said. "It gives so many opportunities, and it's something the kids can relate to."
"Legally Blonde" tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girls who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend. She ends up as a better lawyer than even she imagined, successfully defending a falsely accused murder suspect.
"By end of the show, she is a woman who stands on her own and doesn't need anyone---a woman who goes from totally dependent to totally independent, and that's a wonderful story to tell," Johnson said.
Johnson also likes the show, he said, because "it just has a lot of parts, and many of those parts have nice vocal features. We've just got a bevy of kids this year who have great vocal talent."
Julianne Boyd heads the cast in the lead role of Elle, showing her style before Boyd heads off to Anderson University next fall to major in musical theater.
"This show gives her an opportunity to really shine." Johnson said of Boyd. But she's only one member of the strong senior class that dominates the cast, he said.
Megan Buss, a standout soloist in DeKalb's show choirs this year, plays Elle's pal, beauty salon owner Paulette.
"Megan just has really crafted this character very well. I think people are going to love the way Megan portrays Paulette," Johnson said.
Anna Muckenfuss plays Elle's romantic rival, Vivienne.
"We see her go from enemy to frenemy to friend" of Elle, Johnson said.
Adele Poudrier, in the role of a physical fitness guru who is on trial for murder, opens the second act with a big number that showcases her abilities to sing, dance and act, Johnson said.
A junior, Brandon Parks, takes the leading male role.
"He's kind of the tip of the iceberg" of a strong junior class that is waiting in the wings at DeKalb, Johnson said.
Also holding down major male roles are seniors Grant Lockwood and Codey Albers.
Tickets for the show may be ordered in advance at the school office.