On Feb. 27, Lynn Polan brings "Legally Blonde" from Hollywood and the Great White Way to the halls of Chatham High School.
The Theater Department and a cast of 54 students bring the story of Elle Woods and her road to self-discovery to the community for three performances Feb. 27 and 28 and March 1 and 2.
Based on the 2001 movie of the same name, "the story is of a California blonde sorority girl who gets dumped by her boyfriend," Polan said, something anyone who has ever been dumped can relate to.
When her ex-boyfriend enrolls in Harvard Law School, Elle follows him to Cambridge with a single-minded determination to get him back again.
"She finds out in the course of things that she has a brain. She discovers there's some meat to her," Polan said. "It's a self-discovery story."
As a production, the musical is practically ideal for a high school theater department. "It's very cute, really energetic, has a terrific score and lots of roles for girls, which is nice," Polan said, since most high school theater departments—including Chatham High's—have more girls for the stage than the typical screenplay can accommodate.
"It's also very light and funny, and high energy. There are very few ballads, there's a lot of dancing," Polan said. But more than anything, "it's very funny."
Polan was a fan of the movie when it first came out, and when it was made into a musical she looked forward to doing it in Chatham. "The show is charming," she said. "There are a lot of good female roles, and we have a lot of good female actors.
"Most shows have more male actors than female actors, and the roles for boys are better. If you think of a traditional show like 'Guys and Dolls,' there are way more guys in there than dolls, and the guys are better parts. I'm always looking for shows that have more female parts, and this show does," Polan said.
Senior citizens are invited to a matinee at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27. The show will include a free dinner following, courtesy of the Chatham High Theater Department. Those interested must RSVP by Feb. 15 by calling (973) 493-9052 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other showtimes are 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28; 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2. Tickets are $12 or $10 for students and seniors and can be purchased at the door or online at chslegallyblonde.brownpapertickets.com.
"Although the show has what I consider to be a worthy message, mostly it’s just a really entertaining, high-spirited, charming, bubbly musical," Polan said.
"Legally Blonde" features Kelly Cole as Elle Woods, Michael Nitting as Emmet Forrest, Will Hackett as Warner Huntington III, Billy Arnuck as Prof. Callahan, Sarah Thomson as Paulette Buonofounte, Solana San Pietro as Brooke Wyndham, Devynn Pedell as Margot, Kira Gavalakis as Serena, Sara Mazzola as Pilar and Kaitlyn Helmsetter as Enid Hoopes.