“Legally Blonde” Done in Local High Schools with iFilmGroup Members
When most people hear the title “Legally Blonde” they jump to thoughts of the 2001 American comedy film based on Amanda Brown's novel of the same name. It starred Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Victor Garber, and Jennifer Coolidge. The story is about Elle Wood who has it all in her life except one thing. The man of her dreams. She is a sorority girl who wants nothing more than to be Mrs. Warner Huntington III. But there is one thing stopping it. She is too blond. Elle rallies all of her resources and gets into Harvard in an attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend by getting a Juris Doctor degree. The title is a pun on the term "legally blind".
iFilmGroup Member Lauren Fuoco From Chatham Played The Lead Role of Elle Wood
The story has expanded past that original movie into a play format and then in February 2007, a musical adaptation of Legally Blonde premiered on Broadway. It had mixed reviews overall. But that has not stopped the production from finding success. The play version, as well as the musical version, have gone on to be done in various High Schools in North America. Including a few in London and area. The production was done at the Grand Theatre in 2013 for the 15th anniversary of the High School Project. Then in 2014 in Chatham, Ontario at the Chatham Capital Theatre. For that production which was the musical version, iFilmGroup member Lauren Fuoco from Chatham played the lead role of Elle Wood.
“Playing Elle was the first experience I had playing a real lead role. I was honoured to have been picked” says Fuoco. She says the role was a lot of hard work and dedication. “It takes a lot out of you. I had to be at every rehearsal and had my own private rehearsals outside of the regular ones. I was constantly singing the songs and running through lines. Before bed, I would run through the scenes in my head as I fell asleep. By the end of it all, any members of my family could have been the lead because they heard it 24/7”, adds Fuoco.
In the end, the production itself turned out amazing. Unfortunately, there were some things that they had to cut out for time purposes and to make it more appropriate for the kid’s shows. But that did not take away from the experience for Fuoco. “Overall it was so awesome! I would do it again in a heartbeat. You get so close to all your cast mates that you feel like a family. I miss doing the show all the time” says Fuoco.
Fuoco has been working with iFilmGroup since late 2018. She is newer to the group but is looking forward to working with them more once the school year is out and she is done her university term. She was a part of “Blue Love” as the character of April Anderson a waitress that has gone into labour and who is in the maternity ward at the same time as the films lead Kaitlyn. Lauren is also auditioning for the upcoming iFilmGroup production of “Not Ready”.
iFilmGroup’s Shelby Simpson Audition for this Pre-professional Program
Another connection to the show and iFilmGroup comes in the pre-professional program at Drayton Festival Theatre. They are doing “Legally Blonde Jr” in 2019. Shelby Simpson audition for this pre-professional program. Her audition for Legally Blonde came out of her auditioning for the summer musical theatre acting camp at Drayton in the spring of 2018. Thus far she has not heard back from her audition for Legally Blonde or if she got a role. But Simpson considered the experience “awesome” regardless if she gets a role. Simpson has been an active participant in the iFilmGroup workshops and activities. She plays a role in “Blue Love” and was part of the Drama Therapy footage shot with iFilmGroup. She is also auditioning to be part of an iFilmGroup’s movie production “Not Ready”.
Parkside College Institute Performed The Musical Version of The Show
Parkside College Institute performed the musical version of the show in late February, early March of 2019. Parkside is iFilmGroup co-founder, Matthew Marshall’s old high school. Marshall attended the production and found it very good. “For a funny little show it has a bigger message about keeping it positive,” says Marshall. Marshall felt the cast did a great job in bringing the story to life. The play has an important message about breaking down stereotypes to prove we are more than what people assume we are. Marshall feels that is a message that people need to hear. Especially the younger generation, which is our future.
Parkside’s production features some cast members that are both newer faces as well as a familiar face to the iFilmGroup community. The new faces are Haley Gordon who in the play, plays the role Serena. Gordon has worked with the iFilmGroup production team in “Blue Love” where she had a small role. She is also auditioning for “Not Ready”. Adam (AJ) Longlade is playing the lead male role of Emmett Richards in Parkside’s version of the play. Longlade has applied to “Not Ready” and is interested in participating with iFilmGroup. The familiar face of the play was Aaliyah Paul who played Gaelan and was part of many of the dance numbers. Paul is known for her roles in Marshall’s bullying film “Malicious Attack” as the reporter and in “Summer of Discovery” where she plays the role of Becca the best friend of the lead.
The story of Legally Blonde is sometimes fluffed off as just a silly and goofy one, but the deeper message of not judging a book by its cover and achieving your full potential is one that iFilmGroup stands behind. It is what the iFilmGroup team is trying to do within their mandate of mentoring its members. They want each person involved to be the best they can be, discover the many wonderful and interesting aspects of film making. While also forming lasting connections and relationships across generations.
With the newest production- “Not Ready” in the pre-production stage, the team will explore the themes and topics of the value of life and relationships within this newest production. They are currently gathering acting resumes and headshots for auditions which are coming up. Look for more information in the near future about this production.
iFilmGroup.org Press Release-Local Highschools-Legally Blonde-03-01-19