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William Henry Harrison High School's LEGALLY BLONDE

Paulette Bonufonte, played by sophomore Shay Uxer, inspires Elle Woods, played by senior Chloe Schwettmann, to chase after her dreams and win back her man.

Review by Addie Littner, Highlands High School Critic Team

Gavels, law textbooks, serious students, and… a pair of pink heels! Harrison High School's production of Legally Blonde was full of these items along with a special twist of what it means to be a lawyer at Harvard Law.

Legally Blonde was produced in 2007 by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjaminand is based on the 2001 film of the same name. Legally Blonde follows Elle Woods and her fellow sorority sisters in their journey to get Elle’s ex-boyfriend, Warner Huntington III what he wants. Along the way, Elle finds meaning in life and true love when she gets admitted to Harvard Law and learns what it means to be Legally Blonde.

The performance of Legally Blonde featured an energetic cast and crew, creating a cohesive production that never missed a beat.

Elle Woods, played by Chloe Schwettmann, carried the production with her striking vocals and heartbreaking emotions in songs such as “Legally Blonde”and “Serious." Elle’s bubbly personality was perfectly balanced by Emmett Forrest’s affectionate character, played by Matthew Rudolph. His willingness to help Elle shined in songs such as “Chip on my Shoulder." The connection between this pair was unmatched and their love was radiant at the show's end.

Paulette Bonufonte, played by Shay Uxer, supported Elle throughout all her hardships and happy moments. Moreover, she showcased immense emotion that was balanced by comedic moments during her performance of “Ireland” and “Ireland (Reprise)." Leah Marx, playing Vivienne Kensington, was the definition of someone “Serious” and her spunky attitude was ever present throughout the show, no matter who she was rooting for. Marx also had exquisite vocals in “Legally Blonde Remix” that left audience members in awe.

The costumes, designed by Ashley Reckelhoff, Parker Lawhorn, and Emily Benight, were incredibly intricate and had variety while still following a cohesive theme. The costume changes were efficient throughout the production and showcased the crew's hard work and effort. Marketing and Publicity, by Ashyn Fuhrmann and Chloe Schwettmann, featured a series of t-shirt, poster, and program designs, along with detailed planning for social media posts and advertisements.

Harrison High School’s production of Legally Blonde brought a fun-filled twist to the well-known story, from impressive vocals and energetic dance to sophisticated technical aspects, this performance of Legally Blonde<cq> truly was pink-tastic.

Professor Callahan, played by freshman Jacob Rudolph, and his legal team composed of Enid Hoopes, played by sophomore Adianca Ortiz, Elle Woods, played by senior Chloe Schwettmann, Vivienne Kensington, played by senior Leah Marx, Warner Huntington III, played by sophomore Parker Lawhorn, and Emmett Forrest, played by junior Matthew Rudolph, review the workout tape featuring Brooke Wyndham, played by sophomore Kiersten Saxon, in an effort to understand their client before her trial in Harrison High School’s production of Legally Blonde.

Review by Elizabeth Kessel, Milford High School Critic Team

As lights dimmed and the curtains rose, the production of Legally Blonde staged at Harrison High School transported the auditorium from sunny LA to the hallowed halls of Harvard Law School. With energetic numbers, creative set design, and an astonishing cast, this musical adaptation was a delightful endeavor.

Legally Blonde: The Musical, adapted in 2007 from the classic empowerment film in 2001, follows bubbly sorority-girl Elle Woods on a journey to Harvard Law in efforts to win back her shallow ex-boyfriend, Warner Huntington III. Along the way, Elle discovers her true potential through help from her new friends, as she tackles stereotypes, and proves that remaining true to oneself is the most important key to ones success.

The ensemble cast was an integral part of the productions buoyancy and campy charm. Through their bright movements and palpable energy, the Delta Nu ensemble brought the iconic number of “Bend and Snap” to life through synchronized movements, making the entirety of the stage feel wholly involved and all cast members exceeding every expectation.

The cast of Legally Blonde achieved strong performances across the board. Chloe Schwetmann as Elle Woods was a shining star, capturing Elle’s balance of grit, humour, charm, and the cherry on top was her wonderful voice which positively brimmed with energy. Alongside Schwetmann, Matthew Rudolph portrayed the role of Emmett Forrest with sincerity and warmth, complementing every number with his impressively flexible voice, steadily belting every appropriate note. The pair formed a believable and endearing chemistry with one another which only seemed to grow as the show progressed.

Superb performances from such as Shay Uxer as Paulette displayed impressive vocal stamina. Throughout her star moment in the numbers “Ireland” and “Ireland Reprise” were an astonishing display of talent as Uxer confidently belted all the notes and highlighted the stage with her comedic charm, winning every heart and getting everyone rooting for Paulette. On the contrary, Parker Lawhorn portrayed Warner Huntington III with a delightfully shallow and pompous air. During the number “Serious," Lawhorn gracefully sung through the number with convincing sincerity and smooth dance moves.

This show would not be complete without the incredible crew members behind the magic on stage. Dance captain and student choreographer Ashlyn Fuhrmann designed three impressively bubbly numbers where all ensemble members were involved and moving in unison. In addition, time-period accurate costumes brought to the stage by Ashley Reckelhoff, Parker Lawhorn, and Emily Benight accentuated the early 2000s vibe of the show and appropriately added to the captivating theatricality.

To conclude, Harrison High School delivered a delightful experience through their vibrant production elements, capturing the heart and empowerment of the classic hit musical. Legally Blonde: The Musical is sure to leave one feeling inspired and uplifted.

After graduation, Elle Woods, played by senior Chloe Schwettmann, proposes to Emmett Forrest, played by junior Matthew Rudolph, during Harrison High School’s production of Legally Blonde.

Review by Ella Adams, Mercy McAuley High School Critic Team

From the glamorous walls of the Delta Nu sorority to the immensely competitive student life at Harvard, William Henry Harrison High School brought the classic movie Legally Blonde to the stage through their lively production. This take on the story was a heartwarming and hilarious celebration of girlhood.

Elle Woods has it all – a wealthy family, a major in fashion merchandising, the title of president in her sorority, you name it. But her world is shaken when her boyfriend Warner breaks up with her because when he goes to Harvard Law School in the near future, he wants to be dating someone more “serious.” To win back his heart, Elle decides to attend Harvard as well. In doing so, Elle is plunged into rigorous academics, strict professors, and stuck-up classmates who leave her wondering who she truly is and where her place is in this world.

The cast and crew of Legally Blonde were given many challenges with producing this show yet overcame all of them flawlessly. This show takes countless different settings and costumes that were changed quickly and seamlessly. For the actors, Legally Blonde is a musical that requires endless energy onstage, which was brought to the production from the beginning to the end.

The iconic role of Elle Woods was played by Chloe Schwettman. Portraying this character takes boundless stamina both physically and vocally along with a big and bubbly personality, all of which was given to the audience by Schwettman in an astounding way. Through many numbers such as “So Much Better” and “What You Want,” Schwettman showcased not only her singing talents but also her lively nature that truly brought Elle to life. Emmett Forrest, Elle’s hardworking best friend at Harvard, was played by Matthew Rudolph. Matthew and Chloe portrayed their dynamic relationship beautifully with their impressive chemistry onstage.

The hopeless romantic hairstylist, Paulette Bonufonte, was played by Shay Uxer. Uxer’s impressive singing voice stood out from many others in the show, especially in her song “Ireland.” Another strong vocalist in this production was Leah Marx who played the role of Vivienne. Along with her powerful voice that shined in songs like “Legally Blonde Remix,” Marx portrayed the studious and slightly intimidating character convincingly, especially as she slowly built an unlikely friendship with Elle by the end of the story.

Legally Blonde has countless different contrasting settings. The stage crew, led by Estrella Soriano and Nevaeh Bryson helped organize the shifts between scenes so that they were as clean as possible. Meanwhile, Ashley Reckelhoff, Parker Lawhorn, Emily Benight, and the rest of the costume crew assembled outfits that fit the time period, setting, and the character who wore it. They also executed quick costume changes, including some that happened onstage during numbers such as “Legally Blonde Remix” and “Omigod You Guys.”

Standards are high when bringing a beloved film to the stage, but just as Elle did in her story, William Henry Harrison High School’s production of Legally Blonde beat the odds and exceeded all expectations. This show was a powerful portrayal of overcoming the trials of being a girl until you find the woman that you are despite what you are perceived to be.

Nikos, played by sophomore Ethan Roush, is outed on the stand by Carlos, played by senior Logan Dreyer, as they confess their love for each other, turning the case and avoiding a disaster in the courtroom in Harrison High School's production of Legally Blonde.

Excerpts From Other Top Reviews

"With their infectious energy, the cast brought excitement to every scene. From the sass of the Delta Nu sisters to the sophistication of the Harvard students, the cast dove into the world of Elle Woods with gusto and enthusiasm. Their committed performances and outstanding vocals, coupled with amazing costumes and props, created an atmosphere as lively as it was entertaining."

-Marie Rainey, Ursuline Academy Critic Team

"Amidst the energetic ensemble, Shay Uxer and Leah Marx, as Paulette Bonufonte and Vivienne Kensington, shone out. Uxer, as the boisterous stylist, stunned with her scintillating vocals in “Ireland” and her silly, yet poignant, moments with Gabe Ashcraft, who played Kyle. Marx provided a nice dichotomy to Paulette’s raucous nature as the pompously posh Vivienne. Marx commanded the stage at all times and brought humor in even the most serious moments with her hilarious mannerisms and hysterical voice. "

-Clark Sayre, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team

"The cast’s peppy energy made this musical a joy to watch. One amusing ensemble group, Frat Boys, left the audience in a fit of laughter during the song “Bend & Snap." On the note of amusing, the final dance number during “Gay or European? between Nikos (Ethan Roush) and Carlos (Logan Dreyer) added a lighthearted touch to the scene. "

-Reese Hiedrich, Ursuline Academy Critic Team

"A vital component of this show was skillful technical items. The props crew of Honey Dick, Chloe Doherty, Adianca Ortiz, and Shay Uxer created striking prop items that brilliantly stood out on stage. A particularly innovative idea was the frozen jump rope in the song “Whipped into Shape.” They showed their creative thinking by using an old umbrella. The transition from using a regular jump rope to the frozen one in the song flowed seamlessly and truly conveyed the frozen feeling. Ashlyn Fuhrmann, who was on the choreography crew, showed her skill and dedication to this production. Her analysis of each song’s emotion indeed showed through her choreography. In the song “Legally Blonde Remix,” the upbeat energy and moves conveyed the change in Elle Woods' heart to beat the case."

-Maya DeStazio, Roger Bacon High School Critic Team

"Chloe Schwettmann portrayed the iconic Elle Woods, and her performance was packed with powerful vocals and passionate energy. Schwetmann blended her naturally captivating stage presence with impressive technique, leaving a performance that was undeniably incredible. Alongside Schwettmann was Matthew Rudolph, who took on the lovable role of Emmett Forrest. Rudolph managed to steal the hearts of the audience through his charismatic physicality, and when paired alongside Schwettmann, these two formed a pair that was truly unstoppable."

-Ali Lewis, Mercy McAuley High School Critic Team

"Makeup and hair, designed by Natalie Brown and Chloe Doherty, were extremely detailed and historically accurate, including blue eyeshadow, thin brows, and fake tans. Taking time to dye Chloe Schwettmann’s hair blonde for her role and spraying temporary dye into Matthew Rudolph’s hair to make him brunette, showed the team's deep dedication. Marketing, led by Ashlyn Fuhrmann, pushed the limits of the department, creating a new interactive magazine in turn of a playbill and raising over 1,000 dollars in sponsorships."

-Norah Shadwell, Highlands High School Critic Team

"William Henry Harrison High School pulled off this lively and lovable show effortlessly, truly embodying Elle’s famous statement, 'What? Like it’s hard?'"

-Caroline Lovelace, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team

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