OAKLAND -- "Legally Blonde: The Musical" promises to bring memorable song-and-dance numbers and plenty of laughs to the Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park from Friday through Sept. 15.
Producers Associates is staging the show as its final production of the summer this weekend and next. The musical is a stage adaptation of the hit movie that starred Reese Witherspoon and the book by Amanda Brown. It tells the story of cheery UCLA sorority girl Elle Woods, who decides to apply to Harvard Law School, where her ex-boyfriend is studying, and ends up exploring her full potential.
"Legally Blonde" is about "how we are all given a label in life by family, teachers, friends, all the people around us ..." said Jody Jaron, the show's choreographer. "What Elle shows us is that sometimes we have to peel away that stereotype, that label, to find the best in ourselves."
The energetic musical comedy includes the songs "Serious," "What You Want" and "Whipped into Shape." It stars Claire Buchignani, who played Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun" earlier this summer at Woodminster. The show's director is Joel Schlader, and Michael Horsley provides musical direction for the production. "Legally Blond" features a cast of about 40 performers and two animals, as well as a live orchestra.
The film "Legally Blond" hit screens nationwide in 2001. The musical came to life in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Theatre in early 2007 and moved to Broadway later that same year, when it was shown on MTV.
"The music in the show is very fresh, new and fun," said Linda Dorsey, a professional actress who plays Paulette and lives in Oakland's Sequoyah Heights neighborhood. "It's definitely a new musical for the times. It's young, energetic and should appeal to all ages. It's another crowd-pleaser."
The dancing in the show is "very hip," Dorsey said. The number "Bend and Snap," for instance, is Paulette's "big, brassy number where she finds her self-esteem."
"The cast is spectacular," said Eric Carlson, an Alameda resident who plays a Harvard Law student in the show. "The whole production is so high-energy. It's hard not to get swept up into it."
Fellow Alamedan Ron Lew, who plays a Harvard admissions officer and several other roles, believes the Woodminster production is very catchy.
"Our musical director says, 'It's like a speeding train. Once it starts, it keeps going and doesn't stop!' He's right, and it's a great show for kids, especially teenagers."
What: Producers Associates' "Legally Blonde: The Musical"
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Sept. 13-15; 7 p.m. Sunday, Thursday and Sept. 15
Where: Woodminster Amphitheater, 3300 Joaquin Miller Road in Oakland
Cost: $25-$56; kids get in free with paying adults
Information: 510-531-9597, www.woodminster.com