Curtains up for ‘Legally Blonde’ the musical at Valhalla High Theatre Arts Program

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If last night’s opening show was as whimsical and funny as Saturday’s dress rehearsal, then Valhalla High School’s performance of “Legally Blonde,” the musical is sure to be an event not to miss.

If last night’s opening show was as whimsical and funny as Saturday’s dress rehearsal, then Valhalla High School’s performance of “Legally Blonde,” the musical is sure to be an event not to miss.

Elle, the sorority blonde gone legally rogue, played by junior Brooke Laver, 17, is perfect for the role and paired with lovelorn Emmett, played by sophomore Anthony Vacio, 16, the duo are charismatic with a chemistry that works convincingly on stage. Together, their voices blend seamless through the many props, stage scenes and offer a superfluity of humor.

Played by junior Katie Smith, 17,Paulette, Elle’s closest confidant, low in self esteem, is spot on in her comedic timing and hysterical in her performance, especially learning the “bend and snap.”

At a high school level, this troop of actors, stagehands and directors showcase a full-on professional performance.

Kirsten Giard, Valhalla Theatre Arts Program director said this is the largest musical the program has done in terms of scenery and costume changes. She loved the spirit of the show and said the morale of the story that there is beauty within permeates the entire play.

“That really appealed to me and with the youthful energy of the show, I thought it would be perfect for us,” she said.

Giard said this is the hardest casts and crews she ever worked with and they proved to be incredibly flexible.
“In live theater you have to go with the flow and there is no room for ego or diva and they have worked so hard at every little thing,” she said.

Vacio, in his second year with the program, said the show is fun but difficult.
“It is so worth it in the end,” he said. “It’s so fun to do with your best friends, with awesome directors and tech staff.”

Smith said this show is special to her as Laver, her best friend for 10 years joined the cast and she is excited to be on stage with her at Valhalla.

“And the character that I am playing is kind of helped me find who I am, it’s helping me a lot in a way,” said Smith. “I can relate to her and it has been fun to explore that.”

Laver said it is her first time performing at Valhalla, “and it has been nothing but a super fun experience playing Elle.”

“It is very challenging,” she said. “She sings and dances a lot, but it is always fun. It will all be worth it in the end and I am loving every minute of it.”

Surrounding herself with a group of adult professionals, Giard said they raise the bar to a professional expectation.

“We try not to be high school theatre, we try to be an excellent theatre for young adults is our motto,” said Giard. “By doing that we get the experts in the field come in and teach the kids how to be a theatre professional, regardless of what they do in life.”

“Legally Blonde” is currently on stage live at the Valhalla High School Theater in El Cajon, playing April 11-13 and April 17-20.

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