Melissa Lemme has been busy in rehearsals getting “Whipped into Shape” to play fitness queen, Brooke Wyndham in our July production of Legally Blonde! We had a chance to ask Melissa about her intense preparations for her role and her thoughts on our production. Read on to find out what Melissa had to say: Did you have a special exercise regime in the lead up to and during the rehearsal process? “I’ve always loved to run, just not for terribly long periods of time. However, once I was cast as Brooke I thought it might be time to improve my cardio. Since April, I’ve pretty much been running anywhere from seven to ten kilometers about 3 -5 times a week, normally ending my run with a skipping routine that included practicing the choreography along to the song as well as just regular skipping for three, five minute sets. I also tried incorporating eating only healthy things, but that didn’t last long; chips and chocolate are just too good!”
Have you always been a fitness fanatic or was this role a bit of a shock for you? “I would never call myself a “fitness fanatic” although I also wouldn’t say the role was a shock. I’m fairly active and athletic and have been my whole life. I love sports, specifically soccer, although I’m pretty much always game to try any team sport. While I don’t think I was at the “Brooke Wyndham Fitness Queen” level, I do think I was at a half way point which helped me when it came down to combining singing and working out.”
What have you learned so far through out the rehearsal process? “I’ve learned that stamina is everything, especially in a show like this with such heavy dance numbers. I always found it interesting when fellow cast members would say they were amazed I could skip and sing at the same time, because I was always amazed they could nail all the complicated choreography and sing and the same time! I have so much respect for everyone involved, and the talent in this show continues to blow my mind!”
What is your favourite part of the show? Why? “This is way to hard of a question! There are so many amazing musical numbers and even more quick one-liners that have me laughing regardless of how many times I’ve heard them! If I had to answer, I think I’d have to say my favourite part of the show is the people. Like I said, everyone is incredibly talented and even more dedicated! It’s so amazing to get to be a part of a show where everyone involved is always so happy because they are doing what they love! There’s always such a raw, amazing, positive energy in rehearsals because we are all there to be a part of something that’s more than any one person and we’re all so passionate about that.”
What are audiences going to love about this production of Legally Blonde? “I mean, we have the cutest dogs ever! So that’s a plus! But in addition, I think audiences will love the energy every person involves brings to the stage. I truly think that you could enter that theatre in the worst of moods and it would be impossible to leave after the show without a smile from ear to ear! It’s such a fun a show and I think our production has added and done so much to really bring that out! I think audiences will love being uncontrollably positive and happy for the two hours of the show, and well past it’s end.”
What is the most rewarding part about playing fitness queen, Brooke Wyndham? “I’ve loved trying to get to Brooke’s level of fitness, sass, and fun! She’s such an interesting mix and I think her different personalities have the potential to really shine in this show. It’s been such an incredible experience and I’m so happy to have been able to do it all under Brooke’s persona! She’s such a strong female role, which has been amazing to embody!”
See Melissa get "whipped" from July 10-13 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available online at www.rhcentre.ca or by calling the box office at 905-787-8811.