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Legally Blonde the Musical at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts

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Wavestage Theatre Company brings Legally Blonde the Musical to Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts from July 10-13! With all newly conceptualized choreography by Caileigh Kyle, co-direction by Sarah Langford and Caileigh kyle, and a cast filled with incredible talent from all over the GTA, this production is sure to leave audiences saying “OMIGOD”! Based on the hilarious MGM film, Legally Blonde The Musical follows sorority star Elle Woods, an underestimated blonde who doesn’t take “no” for an answer. When her boyfriend dumps her for someone more “serious,” Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and sets out to go where no Delta Nu has gone before: Harvard Law School. Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style. This musical juggernaut features such instant classics as “Omigod You Guys,” “Bend and Snap, “Whipped Into Shape” and more! PERFORMANCES Thursday, July 10, 2014 – 7:30pm Friday, July 11, 2014 – 7:30pm Saturday, July 12, 2014 – 7:30pm Sunday, July 13, 2014 – 2pm

Tickets are available for tonights performance at the box office before the show. Grab tickets for the rest of the shows by visiting www.rhcentre.ca or by calling 905-787-8811.

Meet the Cast of Legally Blonde: Brooke Wyndham

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!”

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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!”

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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.”

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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.

Meet the Cast of Legally Blonde: Emmet

23-year-old Chris Vergara is thrilled to be seen on stage this summer as the quirky and hilarious Emmet Forrest in the Wavestage's 20th Season production of Legally Blonde, the Musical! This is Chris’ first production with Wavestage, however, he is no stranger to the stage. He could not be more excited to perform alongside such an enthusiastic and talented cast! Not even a car accident at the beginning of the rehearsal process can slow this guy down. Here’s what Chris had to say about his work in the production of the summer: What part of being in this Wavestage production are you most looking forward to? "Having performed in Toronto over the past two years, and in Hamilton throughout my academic career beforehand, I am most excited about joining this entirely new theatre community. Everybody has been so welcoming; there's a great sense of camaraderie that continues to grow as we approach opening night."

What do you think the biggest challenge will be portraying such an identifiable character? "Taking on a character that so many people are familiar with, I feel my biggest challenge will be portraying Emmet in a recognizable way that fans of the original movie will appreciate, but still making him accessible to new audiences while adding my own individual mark on the role."

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What sparked your interest in musical theatre? "I grew up in a family that loved the arts, from taking piano lessons to singing at parties to seeing live theatre. The very first professional production I ever saw was with my family, seeing Les Miserables in Toronto in 1998. The production starred original Broadway cast member Colm Wilkinson as Valjean, who hadn't played the part since leaving the Broadway Company almost ten years before. The experience was revolutionary, and after seeing that incredible show I knew I needed musical theatre in my life."

Do you relate to the character of Emmet Forrest at all? "Like Emmet, I've had to face the hard work and stress that comes with completing school, and have also had to deal with living up to the expectations of accomplishing something great. We both strive for the best, and know the importance of determination and dedication to get things done."

What do you think makes this production of Legally Blonde unique? "It's very easy for the characters in this show to stray into broad characterizations, the ditzy blonde, the bookish nerd, which is something that the story is trying to defy. The vision for this particular production is very focused on fleshing out the reality of the characters, finding moments to make them deeper and more complex. Hopefully this will allow the audience to become more invested in them and their journey."

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What kind of training and experiences helped develop you into the performer that you are today? "I actually have no formal training in theatre; I never went to theatre school but instead have my bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental sciences. However, I have been very fortunate to have learned so much from all the theatre I did in my spare time, and now do professionally. With each new show, with each new company, I learn from my fellow actors and production team, and I continue to grow as a performer today."

Don’t miss this spectacular summer production at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts from July 10-13! Tickets are available at www.rhcentre.ca or by calling 905.787.8811.

Meet the Cast of Legally Blonde: Warner

Markham’s Carlo Bianchini is looking forward to taking to the stage as Warner Huntington III in our July production of Legally Blonde. He has put some “serious” preparation into this show and we had a chance to ask him about his experience playing the man who inspired Elle's journey to Harvard! What’s it like to play the “jerk boyfriend” of the show? "Warner is a rewarding character to play as I have never had the opportunity to play the "jerk" before. I have to say it was a bit of a struggle because I don't like to think like a jerk that often. But with his well dressed appearance and "I’m fabulous" attitude I found that it almost became too much fun during rehearsals. Warner and I are complete opposites, but he's very comedic."

What's your favourite number in Legally Blonde? "My absolute favourite song in the show is "There, Right There". I have to try and not crack up every time I sing it. The choreography is challenging but the number is altogether really fun!"

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How does Warner evolve as a character through out the show? "Warner is looking for someone more serious to guide him through his journey to become a lawyer. When he realizes what he had all along, he regrets his decision of leaving Elle. Although it is too late by the end of the show to become the lawyer Warner set out to be, I like to think that he had a successful modelling career that perhaps led him to make better choices later on in life".

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What is special about this production of Legally Blonde? "This entire show is just filled with incredible singing, dancing and excitement for the audience. Wavestage has turned Legally Blonde into a show that everyone can love."

See Carlo on stage at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts from July 10-13. Get tickets to Legally Blonde here or by calling 905-787-8811.

Meet the Cast of Legally Blonde: Callahan

Toronto’s Gord Peters is delighted to portray the tough-as-nails Harvard Professor, Callahan, in the our 20th Season production of Legally Blonde! Read on for this inside look at the man behind this particularly challenging character: What has been the most challenging part of the rehearsal process so far? "Definitely just becoming familiar and comfortable with the music. While I was familiar with the film, I’d only ever seen the musical once and really didn’t know the songs at all! So just keeping up with the rest of the cast who were so into the soundtrack was definitely a challenge. The music is really fun. It’s quirky and clever, and Callahan has some great moments, so the challenge has definitely been worth it!"

What have you learned from this experience? "This experience has just re-affirmed for me how essential it is to make the time to do what you love. I have a pretty hectic day job and every time I do one of these shows it’s always a stretch – both emotionally and physically – to fulfill my professional responsibilities, as well as my responsibilities to the production and myself. Yet somehow, it always comes together, and while there may be the occasional stressful moment, once the curtain goes up and the lights hit the stage, everything else melts away and it’s always all worth it."

What previous experiences have you had in musical theatre? "I’ve been very fortunate to have had a chance to play many great and varied roles over the past number of years. My all-time favourite experience was playing Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof just this past year. Max Bialistock from The Producers was also great fun, as was Frank-N-Furter in Rocky Horror. I’ve been in over 25 productions over the past 15 years, but those three would have to be the ones of which I am most proud."

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What is it like to portray such a pretentious, bloodthirsty character? "How could you not love playing this guy? It’s actually one of the things I love so much about acting – getting the chance to become someone completely different from yourself and immersing yourself in that character so completely – it’s awesome! Callahan doesn’t back down from anything. He oozes self-confidence, even when he is being out-maneuvered and he knows it. I think we all could stand to learn a little of that for ourselves. Of course, I do need to make sure I turn him off when I leave rehearsal – otherwise no one would talk to me!"

What is the best part about being a part of this particular cast of Legally Blonde? "Every time I do another show, I always take something away from the process, and it’s always the same thing. It’s the people we perform with and the relationships we make during the rehearsal and production time that stay and grow long after the show has closed that are the best take-away for me. I am sure that this production with Wavestage will be no different. I can honestly say that each and every one of my closest friends today are people that I first met when we were doing a play together."

See Gord on the RHCPA stage from July 10-13! Get your tickets online today or by calling the box office at 905-787-8811.

Meet Your Sorority Sisters: The Girls of Delta Nu

OMIGOD YOU GUYS! The sassy sorority sisters of Delta Nu have been in intense preparations for our July production of Legally Blonde. The talented ladies that will join Elle in her journey of self-discovery include Kyla Whetham, Bianca Bouchard, Jamie Schouten, Catherine Zanon, Rachel Anderson, Emily Powell, Sam Robinson, and Mary Askwith. As the fearless leaders of the sorority, Lauren Wolanski, Naomi Melvin and Holly Bryant will take on the roles of Margot, Serena, and Pilar! Here's what they had to say about their experience developing these comedic characters in Legally Blonde. 23-year-old Naomi Melvin will be seen as the always fierce and dynamic Serena! Naomi is thrilled that she gets to embrace Serena’s sassy cheerleader persona while, at the same time, hone in on the many honest moments during Elle’s journey. Serena takes charge in times of need (for example, Positive and Bend and Snap) and says exactly what is on her mind. As we [come] closer to the show, I am finding it so exciting to tap more and more into her personality,” says Melvin, who is in her first production with Wavestage.

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18-year-old University of Toronto Mississauga student, Lauren Wolanski, could not be more excited to take to the stage as the larger than life - and let’s be honest, quite ditsy - Margot! “The best part about playing this role is that I have the liberty to go above and beyond in everything that I do. Margot is a high-energy character, so I have enjoyed fueling my performance on big smiles and sassy skipping!” says Wolanski, who is in her first production with Wavestage. Lauren has enjoyed her time preparing with her fellow sorority sisters! “I’ve always wanted to be a part of a sorority because of the community, trust and friendship it fosters. Being a Delta Nu has not only given me the opportunity to be member of a sorority on stage, but experience the benefits of it all off stage.”.

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Lastly, Barrie's Holly Bryant is thrilled to be playing the feisty character of Pilar! At the age of 16, Holly is in her fourth season with Wavestage after years spent in our triple threat training programs, and is no stranger to the stage! “It is really fun to crump and sing ridiculous lyrics that you don't usually get to do in a lot of classic musicals. Pilar is the most aggressive out of the Delta Nu's which I'm not like at all so it's fun to completely transform myself into a new character” says Bryant.

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All of the Delta Nu’s have had some serious bonding time while working hard on some of the most fun and upbeat numbers of the show. “We all bring a mutual understanding of the situations and roadblocks this story puts forward. At the same time, each one of us is unique and is bringing new life to our roles. I can say with confidence that we are injecting so much fun into this show and are having so much fun all along the way,” asserts Melvin. Bryant agrees, stating that “being a Delta Nu in this show is like being in a big family. It’s basically "Girl Power!" all the time! It's very high energy with a whole lot of laughing. Never a dull moment with this group of girls!” 

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Come see these bubbly ladies on the RHCPA stage from July 10-13! Get your tickets online today or by calling the box office at 905-787-8811.

Meet the Cast of Legally Blonde: Paulette

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."

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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."

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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."

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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!"

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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.

Meet the Dogs of Legally Blonde!

What's a production of Legally Blonde the Musical without the beloved canine companions, Bruiser Woods and Rufus? This past weekend we hosted our first ever open Doggie Auditions, and every dog/handler team brought their a-game! We are happy to announce the four dogs that will take the stage this summer at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Read their interviews below!

AS BRUISER: Sushi

See Sushi as Bruiser Friday July 11 (7:30pm) and Saturday July 12 (2pm). Name: Sushi. Age: 6 Breed: Yorkie Owner: Nasim (more like her personal assistant) Favourite thing: being the centre of attention Most likely to: bask in the sun with her "angry bird" toy. Tricks: the usual sit, stay, down, shake a paw, etc. but her most impressive trick is singing opera. Will be your best friend if: you baby talk to her and tell her how beautiful she is :). Offering a piece of chicken would be a bonus.

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AS RUFUS: Benny

See Benny as Rufus Thursday July 10 (7:30pm), Saturday July 12 (7:30pm), and Sunday July 13 (2pm). Name: Benny Age: 3 and a half Breed: Boston Terrier Owners: James & Tara (Kearyn is the pooch chauffeur) Favourite thing: Digging under the living room table, walking with the other local dogs, playing with my toys. Most likely to: be found making Kearyn's little sister, Natalie, laugh or running laps around the backyard. Tricks: Sit, stay, high-fives... I'll roll over if I like you--or you're holding a treat! Will be your best friend if: You're the one holding the cookie!

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AS RUFUS: Bailey

See Bailey as Rufus Friday July 11 (7:30pm) and Saturday July 12 (2pm). Name: Bailey Age: 6 Breed: Shih Tzu Owners: Peter and Judy Szigeti Favourite thing: Toys that squeak Most likely to: respond to affection Tricks: Dancing in a circle (motivated by a treat) and staying in one position until called Will be your best friend if: you rub her tummy

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For tickets to Legally Blonde the Musical, please visit www.rhcentre.ca or call the box office at 905.787.8811.

Meet Our Elle Woods

Rhiannon Kyle is blonde. She's bubbly. And she's ready to take the stage this summer as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical! Rhiannon is returning to Wavestage Theatre Company for her 15th Season after playing a long list of roles over the years, such as Crissy in Hair, Beth March in Little Women, Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and many more! Read on to see what Rhiannon has to say about her run as Elle in this vibrant musical production.

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Rehearsals just kicked off last weekend for this production at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Describe your experience on the first day of Legally Blonde rehearsals. Rhiannon: "Legally Blonde is such a high energy show, and that energy is completely reflected in our cast. On the first day, everyone was bouncing off the walls and was so excited to be there. The entire company is such a fan of the show so it was really great to jump into a project that everyone is so familiar with."

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What can audiences expect from your portrayal of the iconic Elle Woods? Rhiannon: "Laura Bell Bundy and Reese Witherspoon both have entirely different personalities - but they both bring the heart of Elle to life. That's what I love most about the show; a character who many look to as a walking stereotype, but in reality is a genuine friend and has a lot of compassion for others. In my sorority, Delta Delta Delta, the girls in leadership positions aren't the ones who portray the sorority girl role the best, but are strong, capable women who put sisterhood above all else. As Elle, I really hope to bring to life the reasons why everyone loves such a vivacious protagonist."

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Have you ever been treated like a ‘dumb blonde’ stereotype in real life? Rhiannon: "What blonde hasn't! Personally, I hate the word "dumb" - I think everyone is smart in their own way. Once people meet me, or any person for that matter, it's easy to look past the dumb blonde stereotype. I really love to learn and care a lot about school and contributing back to my community."

What’s your favourite song in this musical? Rhiannon: "All of the songs are such high energy pieces that are hard not to love, but my favourite is "Find My Way." It's such a great moment in the show when Elle proves to everyone she is no longer some Malibu ditz and reigns in on what truly matters. Who doesn't love a happy ending!"

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Are there any similarities between yourself and Elle? Rhiannon: "I get called Elle Woods all the time by my friends! We share a signature colour, we're both Geminis, Elle is a President of Delta Nu and I'm a Vice-President of Delta Delta Delta, and we're both blondes! This past year, I shared some similar experiences as well. This past September, I started at Trinity College at UofT, which jokingly gets called the ivy league of UofT. When I first heard "Harvard Variations," I literally laughed at loud at how similar it was to Trin. Being in such an academic environment was a huge transition for me coming from a small town public school, but now I totally feel at home there and I love participating in a variety of campus groups."

What scene are you most looking forward to working on as rehearsals accelerate in the next few weeks? Rhiannon: "This is such an ensemble piece - the entire company is really integral to delivering a high caliber performance. I'm really looking forward to working with such a big cast on all of the group numbers. I feel so lucky to be able to collaborate with so many talented performers; I'm sure the rehearsal process will continue to be a blast!"

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What’s the biggest takeaway of this show for the audience? Rhiannon: "Audiences will come expecting a fun, lighted-hearted evening - which they'll definitely get - but I think audiences won't expect how much heart is in this story. It's a great tale about overcoming challenges and finding yourself, with a nice love story as well. I think people will enjoy going on the journey alongside Elle and can learn a lot from the optimism she gives to all of her struggles."

Don't miss this spectacular summer production at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts from July 10-13! Tickets are available at www.rhcentre.ca or by calling 905.787.8811.