Get ready Montreal because Elle Woods is coming to Lindsay Place Theatre. Running for two weekends, the West Island Student Theatre Association presents Legally Blonde: The Musical.
WISTA works with students between the ages of 17-29 who share a passion for musical theatre. The group started off with some very small productions and then worked their way up to bigger productions every year. Although her role as voice and musical director is demanding and a full-time job, Joy Kertland divides her time between other jobs and activities as well.“I’m just like the students, I have some experience, I have a passion, but I also have other things that I do,” she said.
WISTA’s current production, Legally Blonde: The Musical, was adapted from the 2001 movie and novel by Amanda Brown, with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and book by Heather Hach. Originally premiering on Broadway in 2007, the show tells the story of sparkly and spunky sorority girl, Elle Woods, who goes from majoring in fashion to pursuing the love of her life all the way to Harvard Law school. Soon, however, Elle discovers that Harvard is not the means for the fairytale ending she envisioned with former boyfriend Warner Huntington III and instead realizes that she has much more to offer the world than a pretty face and blonde hair.
Putting on two musicals a year is not an easy task. Legally Blonde, which opened Feb. 1, puts the spotlight on Katja Teixeira, who according to Kertland, is the perfect Elle Woods.
The pursuit of the perfect Ms. Woods started during the initial stages of the 40-week production. The auditions didn’t last long because they knew exactly what they were looking for since “the person needed to be excited and bubbly naturally,” according to Kertland.
The popular Broadway musical is very demanding and so is the role of the main character. Elle Woods is always on stage and has some very challenging songs. Finding someone who had all that personality as well as handle the singing was challenging. Towards the end of the auditions, Kertland says they just knew who was fit for the role and who was not.
The musical premiered last Friday, with a matinee and evening performance on Feb. 2. The play will run for three more shows, Friday, Feb. 8 and a matinee and evening performance on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Next up for WISTA is The Music Man coming March 21. Kertland says they have a busy year ahead and they are always in need of volunteers.
“We’re always looking for volunteers in terms of the technical side; coaches and choreography, even carpenters to build the set,” she explains. “We need everybody, we could use help.”
For more information on the show and volunteering visit wista.ca
With files from Amanda L. Shore