|The Woods family (Kristi Schwartz, me and Heather Dolan) accept that Elle is "doing this for love"|
This is my 76th blog post featuring members of the Farmington Players, and while I love to shine the spotlight on my fellow actors and directors, this one is about me. Tonight we open Legally Blonde, the Musical to a sold out house. I am so excited to be back on stage at the Barn for the first time in over a year, so please indulge my personal reflections about how much this show means to me.
As a member of the ensemble, I play several minor and often unnamed characters. But as Konstantin Stanislavsky famously said, “There are no small parts, only small actors,” so I am trying to bring each of my characters to life by drawing on my own personal experiences. My primarily role is Elle Woods’ Dad (in my mind, he’s named Winston Woods) who appears in golf attire and is often accompanied by Elle’s Mom, deliciously played as a luscious lush by Kristi Schwartz. As Dad, I try to dissuade Elle (Heather Dolan) from attending law school on the “foreign” east coast. This is especially ironic since my own daughter is currently a Michigan law student, and she aspires to work in the East. While I don’t want Elle to move away, ultimately I approve because she is following her heart and her happiness comes first.
My other roles include Pforzheimer, one of a trio of Harvard admissions officers (along with Karen Southworth and Gary Weinstein) who debate Elle’s admission to law school in What You Want, a prison guard in Whipped Into Share, a department store clerk in Take It Like A Man, a construction worker who (along with Connor Rhoades and Kyle Kimlick) admire Paulette (Amy Poirier) in Bend and Snap. When I’m not onstage, I’m usually singing offstage or moving set pieces, so there’s rarely any downtime in this fast-moving production.
The other aspect of this play that makes it more personal for me is the Boston setting. Harvard is in a Boston suburb, and characters like Paulette are clearly locals. While I have never lived there (my parents moved from Worcester – pronounced Wusstah – a month before I was born), I have run the Boston Marathon five times, including 11 days ago, when I was just two blocks away from the bombings. This horrible incident reminds me not to take life for granted and to do what I love doing while I can. It also makes me treasure the people in my life. I will always remember the warm welcome I received in my first rehearsal back at the Barn. This cast and crew shares a mutual admiration and respect for one another that makes being in Legally Blonde a real love fest. Love is one of the central themes of this play, and I truly believe that our love for one another will shine through in our performances. It may sound like a cliché, but just like Pforzheimer sings, “Yes, we believe in love, how bout you?”
The Farmington Players' production of Legally Blonde, the Musical is sponsored by TruVista Wealth Advisors. The show opens April 26 and runs through May 18. Tickets can be purchased online at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.