|Bailey Boudreau adds depth to the superficial Warner Huntington III|
When you first meet Bailey Boudreau, you will probably believe whatever he tells you. He has this innocent, charming, boy-next-door demeanor. When he said he was the same age as his character (19 year-old first-year law student Warner Huntington III), I accepted that as fact. I was surprised to learn later that Bailey is really 33. Once during rehearsal, he delivered a line so convincingly that a cast mate responded, “Really!?” Without missing a beat, Bailey deadpanned, “No, that’s my line. It’s called ‘acting’, people.”
Bailey has been acting most of his life, and much of his life revolves around the theater. He has experience with directing, teaching, choreography, costume and set design, and stage management. And he has performed onstage in more than two dozen shows both in community theaters and professionally in Michigan, Chicago, Boston, Florida, and even on tour with the North Carolina Theatre Company, playing Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank.
So what inspired Bailey to make his Barn debut as Warner? It turns out that Legally Blonde is one of his all-time favorite musicals, which is ironic considering his initial skepticism: “When I heard the film was being turned into a musical, I was totally against it. I accidentally stumbled upon it during the MTV airing and I was blown away. And hooked. I've loved it ever since and it has become one of my favorite shows. It has heart, humor and brains. Gotta love that.”
Bailey is perfectly cast as Warner, who is often caught in the middle between Elle and Vivian, the rivals for his affections. Bailey describes Warner as “the quintessential prom king. He is the guy we all went to school with and most likely hated. He is a fun role to play, because he is a rare combo in theatrical plotlines; an antagonist who also happens to be an ingenue.” Bailey’s biggest challenge in playing Warner is “to look beneath his selfishness and his superficiality to find the heart. Even the worst of high school bullies has a vulnerability they are trying to protect. When those are revealed, the character becomes so much more complex. It's easy to play him as the bad guy, the jerk, the stuck-up rich boy. It's not so easy to find out why he does what he does and make him a sympathetic character.”
In addition to bringing out the complexities in his own character, Bailey hopes that audiences will see that Legally Blonde has a deeper meaning: “I think the main theme we can all relate to is being judged with a preconceived notion based on only our physical appearance. This is something that will always be an issue in our society, no matter how advanced we may become. Another great theme that I can identify with is the idea of finding your own self-worth, and learning not to be dependent on another person for your happiness. Self-love is imperative to loving another, in my opinion, and it is very hard to learn that kind of love.”