Sometimes, you want deep and thought-provoking theater, and sometimes, you just want to kick back and be entertained.
Capital Playhouse is betting that spring weather has you ready for the latter.
In its opening weekend at the Playhouse is Legally Blonde, a high-energy musical based on the 2001 Reese Witherspoon movie about a sorority girl who proves to have more substance than anyone expected.
Lets just say its not a thinker, said Lauren ONeill, the theaters managing director. Its absolutely fun. Theres heart in the story, theres an arc, theres a denouement, but it is more entertainment than anything.
It is a fluff piece, said director Chris Serface, but theres such an important message in the show: You cant judge a book by its cover. You cant look at the character of Elle and say shes a dumb blonde, because there is so much more within her.
Of course, as the musical starts off, judge her we do. But eventually, Elle played here by Bailey Boyd finds a deeper meaning to life.
Thats also the approach Serface is taking to directing. His goal has been to keep the fun which includes lots of high-energy dancing, lots of cute pink clothes, and not one but two canine co-stars and add a bit more depth to the story.
I want to add a new layer of emotion to it by helping the actors find new meaning and maybe something they havent seen, said Serface, just named the managing artistic director of Tacoma Little Theater.
He said it can be challenging mounting a production that people already know well in this case, from both the movie and MTVs 2008 Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods. Because rights to the musical just became available, there also have been a number of regional productions recently, including one last month at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
What I and my creative staff wanted to do is make sure that everybody sees something different, said Serface, whose has directed for the playhouses summer Kids at Play program. We want to make sure that they come to love our version, so the challenge is to hold true to the text but add that extra layer, develop the characters more.
A good example is the development of the romance of Elle and Emmett, a teaching assistant at law school. Its fun to see how that goes from Im going to take her under my wing to She is a lot more than I thought she was to the romance blossoming, he said.
In the end, Elle finds out its not all about being the richest, most popular person. Its all about whats inside.