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Barbara Ingram students bring their 'Legally Blonde' characters to life

April 28, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Leah Harrell, second from right portraying Elle Woods, performs Sunday afternoon with other cast members in The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts production of "Legally Blonde" Sunday at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Alex Moore said some of his friends joked with him that he was already like Professor Callahan because Moore can be evil.

But the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts student doesn’t see himself that way, and Moore said he had to work at perfecting the character of the pompous professor in “Legally Blonde — The Musical.”

Will Bureau is a young, confident-looking student at the arts school, but he said it was tough being the condescending boyfriend of Elle Woods in the production.

Bureau said he had to work for months on perfecting the character of Warner Huntington III and had to enlist the help of his acting teacher to get deeper into the character.

Bureau said his teacher suggested he think about a real-life situation he had been through, perhaps like breaking up with a girl, and remembering all the emotions that were involved with it.

Bureau was then told to apply that to the stage.

“It helped,” Bureau said.

The acting skills Moore, Bureau and others have learned at the Hagerstown arts school were put to the test Sunday when the students staged an afternoon production of “Legally Blonde,” the third showing, at The Maryland Theatre.

The story is about how Woods is dumped by Huntington and her decision to follow him to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back. With some help from newfound friends and her Chihuahua named Bruiser, Woods learns that it’s so much better to be smart.

Olivia Baker, a senior at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, also talked about the tough challenge of bringing her character to life.

Baker plays Vivienne Kensington, who is Woods’ rival in the story. Kensington is mean to Woods and taunts her. Like Moore, Baker found herself cast into a role that is opposite of her real self.

“I had to be a little more sassy,” Baker said before the start of Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. showing.

Kyle Weary, lead vocal teacher at Barbara Ingram and the show’s musical director, said he was impressed by how the students pulled off their roles.

“It’s truly amazing with what the kids were able to accomplish,” Weary said.

With their futures ahead of them, some of the students talked about their dreams, and invariably Broadway came up.

“I’ve always been on stage and it’s something I don’t want to give up,” said Kathleen Reed, who plays the hairdresser Paulette Bonafonté in “Legally Blonde.” The Barbara Ingram senior, who has been acting since she was 10 years old, said she plans to seek an acting degree at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, after she graduates.

Moore and Baker plan to study music education at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va.

Moore said he would love to be on Broadway, but if it doesn’t work out, he said he wants to have something on which to fall back.

“Legally Blonde” will be performed again Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre.

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