Behind the scenes: Upcoming musical features new, returning performers
April 28, 2016
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It’s a Monday afternoon, and the cast of Legally Blonde makes their way into the choir room preparing for another practice. Today, specifically, the members are focusing on vocals.
Caitlyn Walsh, Vocal Director for the musical, calls the cast members into the choir room, and they sort themselves into altos, sopranos, and basses and begin to warm-up. The group begins to practice for the finale, and it is clear that their energy begins to increase further into the song and their characters.
“The goal for every rehearsal is to keep getting better and to perform the song, dance or scene better than you did the last time,” Walsh said. “After we spend the first rehearsal learning a particular song, dance or scene, the expectation is that each cast member practices their part and comes to the next rehearsal prepared and memorized.”
The cast part themselves down the middle of the risers and turn to one another. They continue to practice the finale, but this time, they focus on facial expressions and body language.
“The more you stay in character, the more the character becomes like a second skin for you,” junior Matt Milewski said. “When you have to actually perform, all that practice makes it that much easier and more natural to step into the character.”
For Milewski, this is a new environment. For being a first time performer, Milewski practices as Professor Callahan, who has a strong personality, and it’s apparent that his confidence grows as the practice continues.
“I was nervous, that’s for sure,” Milewski said. “It was a very new thing for me, and I felt I was in way over my head. But luckily, we have a great cast and crew of great people who make everything comfortable and fun.”
Half of the cast leaves the choir room to go with Director, Kate McNally, or out in the hallway to let the rest of the cast practice for a number called “Whipped into Shape.” Remaining is senior Lexi Gray among the other cast members. Gray plays a male role, Grandmaster Chad, who tries to convince Elle Woods, the lead, to party when she should be focusing on applying to Harvard.
“It’s a lot of fun, I get to be a dude,” Gray said. “[Mrs. McNally] really wanted me to do this part. She was like ‘you’re cute, so you do that.’”
With her last musical in mind, Gray puts all of her effort into every practice.
“Always have a smile on your face and always be nice to one another,” Gray said. “Don’t ever take for granted what you’re doing and appreciate the time you are given [with] the cast. Just appreciate everyone and be thankful.”
After many hours of practicing, the cast hopes that students and staff will come see Legally Blonde on May 4-7 at 7:30 p.m. every night.