A Princess Deserves a Palace: Legally Blonde Has a Broadway Home for 2007

News   A Princess Deserves a Palace: Legally Blonde Has a Broadway Home for 2007
 
The producers of Legally Blonde announced July 17 that the musical based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture will play the Palace Theatre on Broadway starting April 3, 2007.
Jerry Mitchell
Jerry Mitchell

Opening night at the Palace will be April 29. The New York dates are slightly changed from a previous announcement.

The musical comedy about a cosmetics-friendly sorority girl named Elle who follows her beau to law school has a book by Heather Hach and music and lyrics by both Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe.

The Broadway run will be preceded by a world premiere engagement at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco Jan. 23-Feb. 25, 2007.

The creative team is led by Jerry Mitchell, who will make his Broadway directing debut, and will also choreograph. He is a Tony winner for his choreography of La Cage aux Folles. He also choreographed Hairspray, The Full Monty and Never Gonna Dance on Broadway.

The production features scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by ACME Sound Partners. "Sorority star Elle Woods doesn't take 'no' for an answer," according to the producers. "So when her boyfriend dumps her for someone more 'serious,' Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and sets out to go where no Delta Nu has gone before: Harvard Law. Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style."

Legally Blonde is produced on Broadway by Hal Luftig, Fox Theatricals and Dori Berinstein, in association with MGM Onstage, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber.

No casting has been announced, but word in the community is that Laura Bell Bundy is expected to play Elle, a role created on film by Reese Witherspoon.

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Bundy, a veteran of Hairspray and Wicked (and a 1993 Drama Desk Award nominee for her turn in Off-Broadway's Ruthless!) played Elle, the vain, sorority-sister bubblehead whose boyfriend dumps her when he heads to law school, in a May workshop of the show.

Witherspoon created the role in the 2001 hit film.

As previously reported, the show's songwriters, Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, are a husband-wife team.

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The role of Elle calls for a leading lady who must be an endlessly driven and upbeat blonde who rises from cosmetic shallowness to law school glory.

Nell Benjamin (lyrics and music) makes her Broadway debut with Legally Blonde. She was nominated for a 2005 Drama Desk award for Best Book of a Musical for Cam Jansen and the Curse of the Emerald Elephant. She is also the recipient of the 2003 Kleban Foundation Award for lyrics and a 2003 Jonathan Larson Foundation Grant. She has written musicals, online games, TV shows and a corporate bond-trading manual. Nell wrote lyrics for the musical Sarah, Plain and Tall, produced in 2002 by TheatreworksUSA and re-mounted in 2006 at the Lucille Lortel. In 2003 Sarah was expanded into a full-length show at the O'Neill Festival. Prior to that, Nell was the lyricist on The Mice, which was produced by Harold Prince at The Prince Music Theater and at the Ahmanson (as part of the musical, 3hree).

Laurence O'Keefe (music and lyrics), making his Broadway debut with Legally Blonde, is a composer, lyricist, pianist and writer. He won the 2004 Ed Kleban Award for lyrics, the 2001 ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, and a 2001 Jonathan Larson Award for his music and lyrics. He penned music and lyrics to Off-Broadway's Bat Boy: The Musical (2001 Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for Best Off-Broadway Musical). The cult-hit show has been produced in Boston, Tokyo, Seoul, and the West End, among other places. He co-wrote book, music and lyrics with Nell Benjamin, for Cam Jansen and The Curse Of The Emerald Elephant (Drama Desk nomination for Best Book); the music for Sarah, Plain and Tall, which now tours the country for TheatreWorks USA (and was expanded in 2003 into a full-length show at the O'Neill Festival).

Heather Hach makes her Broadway debut with Legally Blonde. Her screenwriting credits include Disney's "Freaky Friday" starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis, "In The Pink," "Cheer Up," "There's A Pop Diva Loose in the Cafeteria," "The Governor's Wife" and "In the Drink," a book adaptation.

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