Forest Roberts Theater gets pretty in pink

The Forest Roberts Theatre will be getting glitzy next week for their musical rendition of “Legally Blonde” from Wednesday, April 17 to Saturday, April 20.

Senior theater performance major James Vincent said the play, which is based on the 2001 film and novel of the same name by Amanda Brown, isn’t the average theater production.

“We’re working with a pretty huge cast on this one,” said Vincent, who plays “Kyle the UPS guy.” “It’s been really intense — we have a choreographer, music director and department head for each section of the play.”

Freshman graphic communication major Dorsey Sprouls, who plays the main character’s father, agreed that the large cast added a new dynamic to gearing up for a play.

“Everything about this play is really big,” Sprouls said. “It’s definitely the biggest play I’ve been a part of at NMU so far.”

Despite the large scale of the play, Vincent said the cast and crew have been working together to create a seamless show.

“Things are flowing together really nicely,” Vincent said. “So it’s been great working with everyone so far.”

Vincent said the standout element of “Legally Blonde” is the set production.

“The color of the set is what really stands out,” Vincent said. “There’s a pretty overwhelming amount of pink that really hits you in the face, and the dance numbers are really full-on.”

Regardless of the overtly “glamorous” nature of the play, Vincent said the play certainly isn’t geared towards a female audience.

“Guys can definitely come check it out, I think anyone in a college crowd would really like it,” Vincent said. “There’s a lot of frat guys and [sorority] girls in it, so it has some orientation toward students.”

The story of Elle Woods and her journey from Southern California to Harvard Law School is something of a classic for the college crowd said junior art and design major Madison Hampton.

“[Legally Blonde] was one of my favorite movies when I was younger,” Hampton said. “The whole glam-aspect of it is of course really blown out of proportion, but it’s a funny story and a good way to poke fun at the dumb-blonde stereotypes.”

The lead role of Elle Woods will be played by second year post-baccalaureate theater student Susan Boyle. According to the Forest Roberts Theatre website, Boyle recently performed as John Hancock in “1776,” Rona in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and Lily in “The Secret Garden.”

Preparation for the play has been intense, Sprouls said, and not without some hardships.

“The time commitment has been the biggest challenge,” Sprouls said. “There’s a lot of songs and dances to get down.”

Music and lyrics for the play were written by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. The cast has also been working with the NMU orchestra, Sprouls said, which has been a successful partnership thus far.

“My favorite moment was our first run through with the orchestra,” Sprouls said. “There were a lot of mistakes at first, but when it sounded good — it sounded really good.”

Sprouls said students and community members familiar with the story should make it out to the theater for this one.

“It’s not a typical broadway play,” Sprouls said. “There are a lot more pop culture references to it — it’s a fun way to spend two hours.”

All showings of “Legally Blonde” will take place at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Forest Roberts Theatre, with an additional 1 p.m. show on Saturday, April 20. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students. For more information, call the Forest Roberts Theatre Box Office at (906) 227-2553 or email [email protected]