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Ready to go ‘Blonde’ this summer?
Sarah Smith plays Elle in Tyler Civic Theatre's production of the musical "Legally Blonde." (Sarah Perez/freelance)

Ready to go ‘Blonde’ this summer?



Writer: LURAE STOKES | Photographer: SARAH PEREZ

Bombshell blonde Elle Woods is pink, perfect and is living the dream valley girl lifestyle. When her boyfriend dumps her for a chance to earn a Harvard law degree, heartbroken Elle decides to win him back.

Using her good looks and girly charm, she finds a way into Harvard Law School. Elle then breaks stereotypes and shows how hot and blonde also can be smart and sophisticated.

“Legally Blonde: The Musical” is Tyler Civic Theatre’s big summer musical production. It is based on the popular movie starring Reese Witherspoon.

Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday and continue July 27-30 and Aug. 3-6 at the theater, 400 Rose Park Drive.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at tylercivictheatre.com.

Stephen Rainwater, who plays Professor Callahan, describes the show as hip and current.

“It is a refreshing show that is fun and I think it will appeal to all ages,” he said.

Katie Hemness, the director, said it the type of underdog story that everyone loves.

To play Elle, Sarah Smith dyed her hair blonde and wears a favorite pink outfit as part of her wardrobe

“I have always wanted to be Elle,” Smith said. “I watched the casting call (program that aired) on MTV years ago, thinking then that, ‘Oh my gosh,’ that would be so much fun. She energizes me. She is so bubbly and energetic. I just can’t say her lines without smiling.”

Smith is inspired by Elle.

“She is so open to everyone,” Smith said. “She loves everyone. She is so positive about everything even when life is just throwing her everywhere. Just her positivity is inspiring.”

One of the most difficult challenges of being Elle is wearing crazy tall high heels,” Smith said.

“I go from being one of the shortest cast members to one of the tallest in those heels,” she laughed.

A different challenge is having the cast work with two dogs, a Chihuahua and bulldog

“I get to mess with the bulldog,” Kim Hodges, who plays, Paulette, said. “He is mine in the show and he is fabulous. I love that dog so much.”

Hodges describes Paulette as outlandish and fun.

“Everything Paulette does is all out,” Hodges said. “It is all or nothing. Paulette is a crazy character but she brings out the best in Elle.”

She said she “digs” Paulette and Elle’s long-lasting relationship.

“(It’s) one of those relationships you don’t expect but ends up being such a blessing Hodges said.

Both Hodges and Hemness said a don’t-miss scene is the one they call “the bend and snap.”

“People are going to fall out of their seats laughing and will leave with a good feeling,” Hodges said.

Opposite of nice-girl Elle is stern Professor Callahan.

“He thinks he is better than everyone else,” Rainwater said. “He is very blunt and to the point, confident and brilliant, but he is so much fun because he is the kind of character everyone is drawn to when he enters the room.”

Rainwater usually plays a nice guy and is thoroughly enjoying a chance to be different.

Rainwater said that more than anything, “Legally Blonde: The Musical” has heart.

“It’s one of the funniest shows that I have ever been a part of, but also it has a humongous amount of heart … to me that is what theatre is about,” he said.


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