Jun 9, 2017

Casting & Creative Team Announced for LEGALLY BLONDE

Cast and Creative Team Announced for The LEX’s Third Summer Production – LEGALLY BLONDE, July 20-23 at Lexington Opera House

Members of the Brodadway cast of LEGALLY BLONDE reunite in Lexington to stage and star in the show, alongside national, collegiate and local talent

LEXINGTON, KY (June 9, 2017) – The LEXington Theatre Company presents its third summer production, combining “Today’s Broadway Stars and Tomorrow’s Broadway Hopefuls.”  Legally Blonde will play the Lexington Opera House, July 20-23, with a cast and creative team from Broadway, the Bluegrass and beyond.  Legally Blonde is presented by Variety Live at the Opera House, along with Co-Producing Sponsor, KentuckyOne Health.  The production will feature the Tony-nominated original Broadway choreography, by Jerry Mitchell, recreated and adapted by Broadway Veterans Brooke Engen & Tiffany Engen. Schedule permitting, Lexington’s own Laura Bell Bundy (nominated for a Tony Award for originating the role of Elle Woods on Broadway), will be on hand to co-direct the show, alongside LEX Artistic Director and Broadway Vet, Lyndy Franklin Smith.

The LEX combines Broadway veterans, local Lexington actors, and college students from across the country, along with a local and national Creative Team.  In doing so, The LEX continues to fulfill its mission of providing first-rate, locally produced, professional theatre, while serving as a training ground for up-and-coming artists.  

Emma Degerstedt will play the fabulous, resilient and fun Elle Woods.  Degerstedt comes direct from her starring role as Ariel in The Little Mermaid at the nationally renowned St. Louis MUNY.  She has played the role of Elle in numerous productions across the country, and earned a nomination for the Los Angeles Ovation Award. Emma spent her teenage years playing Maris Bingham on Nickelodeon’s teen sitcom Unfabulous and originated the role of Kendra in Jason Robert Brown’s musical 13, for which she received a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award.

Playing opposite Emma, in the role of Emmett Forrest, will be Dan DeLuca.  Dan recently wrapped up the First National Tour of Newsies, in the starring role of Jack Kelly.  Recent credits also include Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Danny in Stephen Schwartz’s Snapshots at Goodspeed Musicals; Lucas in The Addams Family at the St. Louis MUNY; Gabe in Next to Normal and Sky in Mamma Mia! at Weston Playhouse.  He has also appeared at 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Radio City Music Hall.

Broadway Veteran Katharine Leonard will play the spunky hairdresser, Paulette.  Katharine appeared in the original Broadway productions of Hairspray and Footloose.  She has worked across the country in famed regional theatres including Goodspeed Musicals, Kennedy Center, 5th Avenue Theatre, and The Hollywood Bowl to name a few.  Her numerous film and television credits include Grimm, The Office, Bones, The Evidence, Presidio Med, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Kevin Pariseau, a member of the original Broadway Cast of Legally Blonde, will play Professor Callahan, the self-proclaimed legal shark.  Pariseau played the roles of Elle’s Dad and Dean Winthrop and served as the understudy for the role of Callahan on Broadway.  Other Broadway/Off-Broadway credits include Show Boat (with the NY Philharmonic), The Explorers Club, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.  His regional work includes Asolo Rep, Riverside Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Nashville), Engeman Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, to name a few.  He’s been seen in Film and Television on Boardwalk Empire (series finale), Tower Heist, and Morning Glory. 

The remainder of the cast is comprised of local Lexington talent and college students from top programs across the country.  Lexington native, Reilly Richardson will be coming home to play the role of Elle’s nemesis, Vivienne Kensington.  Richardson is a graduate of SCAPA and University of Michigan, and is a member of Actors’ Equity, currently based in New York City.  Playing Elle’s boyfriend, Warner, will be Louis Griffin, a recent graduate of University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music (CCM) and currently on the National Tour of Cinderella.

 

Other students and recent grads in the company include:

From University of Kentucky:  Audrey Belle Adams (Enid), Jessica Bayne, Peter Gibbons, Darian Sanders, Sloan Theaker, Joseph Wrightson

From University of Cincinnati (CCM):

Brianna Latrash (Brooke), Casey Wenger-Schulman (Serena), Kurtis Bradley Brown, Delaney Guyer, Kyle Ivey, Tyler Jent, Kyle Pollack and Bryn Purvis.

From Oklahoma City University:

Ali Funkhouser (Margot), Ryan Lambert, Daxx Jayroe Wieser

And:

Essence Williams (Pilar) – Rider University, Nathan Fister – Western Kentucky University, Elizabeth McGuire – Samford University, Katherine Tabisz  - Ball State University, Megan Valle –Wright State University

The canine stars of the show are trained by William Berloni Theatrical Animals – animal trainer for numerous Broadway productions.  “Romeo” will play Paulette’s dog, Rufus.  And “Chico,” who performed in Broadway’s Legally Blonde, will play Elle’s dog, Bruiser.

The Creative Team also boasts local and national talent. Co-Directing the production will be homegrown Broadway talents Laura Bell Bundy and Lyndy Franklin Smith.  Jerry Mitchell’s Tony-nominated choreography will be recreated and adapted by Brooke Engen, with her associate (and twin sister) Tiffany Engen.  Tiffany made her Broadway debut with Legally Blonde and went on to tour as Serena.  Brooke also toured with the show and they have since been a part of numerous productions of the show all over the country, and garnered a 2013 LA Ovation Nomination.  Local favorite, Brock Terry will serve as Music Director.  Terry has served as Resident Music Associate with The LEX, since its inception.  Broadway Vocal Coach, Andrew Byrne, will serve as Vocal Coach for the production.  Lexington’s own Tanya Harper will be Lighting Designer.  And UK’s Tony Hardin is Production Coordinator.  Jeremy Lee (Broadway’s Tarzan, The Woman in White, Bombay Dreams) will be Sound Designer.  Wardrobe and Hair Coordinator is Joseph D. Sibley (currently the Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor for Broadway’s Bandstand.)  Production Stage Manager Brandon T. Holmes is also the PSM for Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati.  Lexington’s Gretchen Shoot and Eric N. Mattingly serve as Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager, respectively.

The LEX Orchestra includes: Bryan Angel (Percussion), Sonny Burnette (Woodwinds), Richard Byrd (Trumpet), Rick Cook (Trumpet), Casey DeMattina (Drums), Jerram John (Keyboard), Luke Jackson (Guitar), Bradley Kerns (Trombone), Julie Lastinger (Violin), Larry Nelson (Woodwinds), Paul Reich (Bass), Michael Rintamaa (Keyboard), under the direction of Brock Terry.

Members of The LEX High School Apprentice Program – Performance Division include:  Jamie Bradley (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School), Caroline Capello (SCAPA), Reagan Earlywine (Bourbon County High School), Jessica Majors (Boyle County High School), Jack McElroy (Scott County High School), Anna Midden (Harrison County High School), Lily Rasmussen (SCAPA), and Joseph Waterbury-Tieman (SCAPA).

Members of the The LEX High School Apprentice Program -  Technical Division include: Jen Chaney (Lexington Christian Academy), Robbie Parrott (Bryan Station High School), John Henry Reynolds (Lexington Catholic High School), and Elia Zonio (Tates Creek High School). 

The LEX College Internship Program includes: Nicolás Acosta (UK), Emilia Bustle (UK), Griffin Allen (Northern Kentucky University), Kelsey Rose Brown (University of Georgia), Christa Hanks (CCM), Kate Pozner (CCM), Alison Rickert (UK), and Greta Rosenstock (UK).

Legally Blonde will play the Opera House, July 20-23 and is presented by Variety Live at the Opera House, with Co-Producing Sponsor, KentuckyOne Health; Media Sponsor WKYT-Channel 27; Sponsors Central Bank and “In The Beginning” – A Web Series.  Additional grant/subsidy support is from the Opera House Fund and LexArts.

Tickets are available at the Lexington Center Box Office, by phone at (859) 233-3535, or online at Ticketmaster.  For more information or to make a donation, please visit the organization’s website, www.lexingtontheatrecompany.org