Lead goes blonde for senior musical

Oak Bay High students performs Legally Blonde to March 4

In her second musical theatre appearance

In her second musical theatre appearance

Sarah Bjelde plans to enjoy her short stint as a blonde. Committed to her lead role as Elle, she took the plunge and dyed her locks instead of donning a wig for the senior musical production Legally Blonde opening at at Oak Bay High this week.

“It’s fun for right now,” said Sarah, admitting when the run ends in early March her hair colour will return to its brunette roots.

Blonde factor aside, the Grade 12 student enjoys the “bubbly, really motivated,” aspects of Elle.

“She knows what she wants and goes after it – very admirable,” Sarah said. “It has been a challenge, just the sheer mass of lines and songs and costume changes.”

The “ambitious” musical moves through scenes quickly even during a number, said director Karen Adams. “But we have a very hard-working crew and Mr. (Steve) Price has been very good building the set with his stagecraft crew.”

Adams works in elementary school special education, but has spent the past few years leading students in the senior musical.

“I really enjoy this. They’re young, they’re fresh, they’re keen and eager to learn. It’s a good energy,” Adams said. “I always enjoy this. It’s a gift to be able to work with young people.”

The story follows Elle Woods, a sorority girl who heads for Harvard Law School in a bid to win back her ex-boyfriend. She successfully defends a murder case and learns a lot about staying true to herself along the way.

“The story line is really appropriate for these guys,” Adams said, noting the senior musical is filled with students nearing their post-secondary experiences. “This is a perfect storyline for them because they can relate to it.”

Elle also finds love not in the ex, but with Emmett Forrest, played at Oak Bay by Emmett Hodgins.

“He’s a great guy and he’s quiet but hard working,” said Emmett, a Grade 10 student acting in his second senior musical. The challenge in his role is his solo Chip on My Shoulder. “There are eight key changes so it’s tough.”

Sophie Koloska plays Elle’s pal Paulette and has yet to master the accent she’s supposed to adopt for the show that opens tonight.  “I have never quite gotten but it’s okay because it’s funny,” she said. That plays right into her “crazy and eccentric” character’s ways.

“I think she’s the most fun to play because she’s always the comedic relief,” Sophie said.

Her favourite part of the play is Bend and Snap, a fun song with loads of movement.

“The songs are extra fun,” said Sarah. “The entire storyline is exciting from the beginning to the end and all the characters are vibrant.”

Legally Blonde tickets are available at the school, 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd. The show runs Feb. 24 to 26 and March 1 to 4 at 7:30 p.m. each night, with a matinee Feb. 26 at 2 p.m., in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre.

“It’s really fun,” Emmett said. “It’s nothing like we’ve really done and it’s got a good story.”