Mandy McDonald is ready to “Bend and Snap” her way to the stage this summer as Paulette Buonofonte in our summer production of Legally Blonde! We had a chance to talk to Mandy and ask her about her experience developing this eccentric and iconic character. Check out what she had to say: What is it like playing a stand out comedic character in the musical rather than the softer, less bold version of Paulette seen in the movie? Mandy: "I really enjoy getting to play Paulette in the over the top way they portrayed her in the Musical. I think the movie version is great as well, and the lovely thing about Paulette is how open and honest she is about her hopes and dreams, even if they may seem silly to others. That to me is what really makes her such a comical character."
Is there anyone that inspired you or that you modeled your character after? Mandy: "Orfeh of course is a giant inspiration because she did such an amazing job as Paulette in the Broadway production, and she is by far my favourite interpretation of Paulette. I have also pulled from Jennifer Coolidge's interpretation in the movie. Also, my mom is a hairdresser, so I thought a lot about her gift for chatting with folks in the chair when I was working on Paulette."
How have you prepared for your role as Paulette? Mandy: "Preparing for the role of Paulette has been fun. Like any comedic role, I try to find the honesty in the character. I looked at Paulette's past with men, the way she acts towards other characters, and her dreams, and used that to form an idea of her personality."
What is your training and/or background in dance, musical, or theatrical works? Mandy: "I have been performing since I was 5, in talent shows, drama camps, dance recitals, and musicals. I have danced all my life, mainly Tap, and I have taken singing lessons for about 12 years. I also just recently graduated from college for Music Theatre Performance."
When did you catch the theater bug? Mandy: "I was always trying to sing and dance for my parents as long as I can remember. I really caught the theatre bug when I was about 5 or 6, and my mom showed me the VHS of Annie for the first time. Like I had mentions I really loved to sing and dance, and up until that point because of disney I sorta figured I would have to be a Disney Princess when I grew up if I wanted to do that.. but when I saw Annie, not only was she REAL she was young like me. I knew then that I wanted to "Do whatever Annie does" (For a long time I didn't know the term Musical Theatre so I would just say I wanted to "Be like Annie" when I grew up)."
What are the biggest challenges that come with this role? Mandy: "One of the biggest challenges I had with this role was getting a consistent accent!"
See Mandy on the RHCPA stage from July 10-13! Get your tickets online today or by calling the box office at 905-787-8811.