Riverview High School Theater presents 'Legally Blonde the Musical' from Thursday through Friday, April 13-14 and Wednesday through Saturday, April 19-22 in Hawkins Hall at Riverview High School.

Legally Blonde, the Broadway musical version of the well-known movie, will be on stage this month at Riverview High School, three years after its original schedule.

Casey Vaughan, Riverview’s theater director, had secured the rights to produce the show in April 2020, but then the start of what would become a global virus pandemic shut down the school calendar and crushed the excitement of so many teens who had worked hard to prepare, Vaughan recalled recently. Her 200-student theater program didn’t start to “feel like itself” again until a full year later, when she created an outdoor staging of the musical Rent that won regional awards.

Vaughan said even last spring she didn’t have the heart to revive Legally Blonde because emotions were still tender among some of the students who had missed their moments in that spotlight. Instead, The Little Mermaid became the 2022 spring musical, complete with a creative take on environmental damage to the oceans that also won awards.

Finally, this year the director felt comfortable with entirely new cast members for the upbeat story of Elle Woods as an underdog at Harvard Law School. In fact, many of the roles are double cast to involve more of the 50-plus students involved in this production.

“We have the strong voices, a really big set and a few surprises in store for our audience,” Vaughan said.

Those voices include students in leading roles who won top statewide awards for other theatrical singing performances just last month at the annual festival of Florida Thespians. The set is the sort of significant construction that has become tradition at Riverview High, which features one of the largest stages in one of the nation’s largest school districts. And those ‘surprises’ Vaughan mentioned include a pair of newcomers to the stage: two rescued dogs playing the roles of Elle’s pup, Bruiser, and her friend Paulette’s pooch, Rufus.

Legally Blonde will be presented at 7 p.m. from Thursday through Friday, April 13-14 and Wednesday through Saturday, April 19-22 in Hawkins Hall at Riverview High, located at 1311 Boyette Rd. in Riverview. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for all school district employees as always.

For more information, visit www.riverviewhstheatre.com.

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