MARTIN COUNTY — It is an improbable tale, really. Blonde headed valley girl falls for brainiac boy who is headed to Harvard to study law. Brainiac boy leaves valley girl in the dust because, well, she is just an empty-headed blonde sorority sister with, by his standards at least, very poor prospects. Brainiac boy meets brainiac girl and together they plan their perfect lives. Valley girl cries over her broken heart for like, a minute, and then decides that she too will go to Harvard, study law, and win brainiac boy back. She writes her admissions essay on pink paper with a fuzzy pink pen and ends up being accepted to Harvard Law School. In hindsight, improbable is probably an understatement.
The wildly popular film, Legally Blonde, released in 2001, was based on a book written by Amanda Brown, daughter of two successful lawyers, who based the story on real life events from her experiences at Stanford Law School. While she never did receive a juris doctorate degree, the stories and vignettes compiled during her time there made for an excellent novel. Which made for an excellent movie. Which, in turn, made for an excellent stage musical that eventually made it to the Great White Way.
Now we find it onstage at the Barn Theatre in Stuart, beginning July 15 and running through Aug. 1. A nonprofit, volunteer-run community theatre, The Barn is Stuart’s oldest theatre, and is celebrating its 51st anniversary this season as well as making a very welcome comeback from the long drought of live theatre caused by the Covid19 pandemic. Although this light-hearted musical is not part of the Barn Theatre’s regular 2021-22 season, it does help to fill the seats until the new season kicks in in the Fall.
Ben Earman, director of this production of Legally Blonde, The Musical, is excited to be putting this show on in a theatre he has long been familiar with as an actor. This will be his directorial debut at the Barn. A fourth-generation resident of Vero Beach, Mr. Earman has himself been involved with theatre from a young age. He majored in Musical Theatre in college and has taught Theatre and Drama in schools across the state.
Mr. Earman believes that the storyline of Legally Blonde is a timely one in this age where themes of female empowerment and self-determination for women have come into sharp focus.
Mr. Earman explains that he is working with a cast of 26 people (and 2 dogs) from all over South Florida, ranging from 14 years old to somewhere in the 50’s, and that the energy they bring to this extremely high spirited, fast paced show is, in his words, “truly phenomenal.” He has equally high praise for the backstage and technical crews at the Barn Theatre who are responsible for bringing the show to life. He is also impressed by the consistently top-notch quality of shows that the Barn Theatre selects, taking on challenges with “outside the box” performances that other community theatres aren’t able or willing to try.
With the easing of Covid19 restrictions, The Barn Theatre will be able to seat patrons at full capacity, around 170, for the first time since early March 2020. Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone, in person at the Box Office Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 4pm.
Adult tickets are $35, and youth (under 18) are $15. For more information about showtimes, how to volunteer, or to become a donor, visit the Barn Theatre website at barn-theatre.com, or like and follow them on Instagram at - https://www.instagram.com/barntheatre/.
This is an extremely fun and high energy show. Come out, have fun, and “see the movie onstage!”