‘Legally Blonde’ set for WTHS stage on March 7–9

Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased online in advance at wthsnj.booktix.com

Kaila Parkin, kneeling at center, will portray Elle Woods in the Washington Township Way Off Broadway Players’ production of ‘Legally Blonde.’ She is pictured with the Greek chorus during their song ‘Positive.’ (Anthony J. Mazziotti III/The Sun)

The Play House at Washington Township High School will transform into Harvard Law School in early March as the Washington Township Way Off Broadway Players will perform “Legally Blonde.”

The musical is based on the movie with the same title, but the musical differs from the original. Spencer Lomanno, who plays the antagonist Professor Callahan, spoke about what separates the two.

“The movie has no songs so it’s not as fun, not as much energy. Some of the characters are more boring and there’s not as much detail,” he described. “Whereas with a musical you can have more fun with it. There’s songs to make it more entertaining and there’s even more detail.”

Kaila Parkin, who portrays the main character Elle Woods, said the biggest difference to her is the relationship between Elle and her love interest, Emmett Forrest.

“They have multiple songs where they get to know each other and they get to fall in love,” she said. “You can see their friendship blossom into a romantic relationship, which I think in the movie you didn’t get to see other than that one car ride and the incident with Callahan. I think it’s also awesome I get to do that with Scott [Bonerbo] because he’s been my best friend since third grade.”

Bonerbo, who plays Emmett, spoke highly of the production quality of the show.

“It’s not just a high school putting on a show, I would say it’s on standards of regional theater,” he said. “It’s amazing to show off the talents of all these students. It’s going to be a fun time, and I think everyone should come out and enjoy it.”

Marco Santos, who is tasked with portraying three different roles, believes the choreography is the best part of the show.

“I want to shout out our choreographer Heather [Grasso]. She has so much confidence in us, and she made these dances hard, but they look so good. It’s going to make the show look so good,” he said.

For senior Samantha Hoose, things have come full circle in her acting career.

“I loved this musical since I was a kid. In fact, ‘Ireland’ Paulette’s song was the first musical theater song I ever learned, it was the first I’ve ever done,” she said. “This show has always meant a lot to me.”

Director Abigail Molotsky gives all of the credit to her students.

“The students in the program are amazing storytellers and very talented. We chose a show that would challenge them, and, of course, they rose to the occasion,” she said. “Watching these students grow into their characters and become better in every way is eye-opening. Watching them work together to tell a story and create something from a bare stage is why I think everyone should come to the show.”

Even though Molotsky is the director, when the lights dim and the curtain opens, it is stage manager Mackenzie Hoose’s time to shine. In her third year, Hoose, a senior, calls the shots during the performances.

“I’m the captain at that point,” Hoose said. “I will be directly communicating with the assistant stage managers making sure everything runs smoothly and making sure the cast is doing OK on their times,”

Performances are Thursday, March 7, Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased online in advance at wthsnj.booktix.com. Tickets will also be available at the box office before each performance.

“I believe the township community should support the kids in the community just like they support the athletic teams,” Molotsky added. “These kids work six days a week on the musical and train in dance, voice and acting through school classes and outside classes. These kids are stars and only get one weekend to do their performance. These shows should be sold out. Everyone should want to come see what these kids can do.”

Santos echoed Molotsky.

“The cast has been having such a fun time putting it together that I’m confident if you walk in here and you watch the show you’ll be leaving with a smile on your face,” he said.