The return of WHSTE: Legally Blonde


Credit: Heather Lui

WHSTE is back for the first time in two years to present “Legally Blonde” to the Wayland community. Posters have been hung up around the school to advertise and inform others about the upcoming event. The cast performances run through Nov. 18-20th at 7:30 pm.

“Curtains up, action!”

These are three words that this year’s “Legally Blonde” cast has missed hearing since March 2020, when COVID-19 put a halt to drama production. It’s been two years since Wayland High School Theater Ensemble’s (WHSTE) last on-stage performance. WHSTE director Aidan O’Hara has put much consideration into what their return will look like.

“I would say that for ‘Legally Blonde,’ we wanted to pick a really exciting musical for this whole idea of the comeback of theater,” O’Hara said. “[We wanted] something celebratory and high-energy, fun and positive, so that when we have our performance, it’s just a really fun and happy time.”

“Legally Blonde” follows the journey of Elle Woods, a carefree and whimsical young adult, who has her eyes set on making it into Harvard Law School to get her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, back. Instead, Elle Woods learns the value of believing in herself and standing up to stereotypes.

The Wayland drama crew dove headfirst into making the play, working to overcome any obstacles like stage production.

“[‘Legally Blonde’] was designed as a Broadway show, which means that all the scenery and the scene changes are really written for a professional theater,” O’Hara said.

The “Legally Blonde” cast spent numerous practices working to create their desired smooth and seamless transitions, which they believed to be critical for the sake of audience appeal.

“I don’t think people quite realize how much time people spend at rehearsal,” sophomore Amelia Furlong said.

Rehearsals can range from tech and lighting to dancing and singing, depending on what needs to be focused on. This musical production has required the students to demonstrate relentless effort and dedication, meeting numerous times a week after school for two hours.

For those with speaking roles, the actors and actresses had to memorize their lines and find a way to express their character in their own creative interpretation. Senior Sammy Janoff  will be playing the protagonist, Elle Woods. Janoff’s goal is to convey Elle Woods as a more rounded character, rather than only focusing on her infamous bubbly, yet ditzy, personality.

“[Elle Woods] is so much more than [her infamous character], and I think that that’s a big chunk of the show, and me making sure that I portray her in a way that’s genuine and real,” Janoff said.

Other actors, like sophomore Max Markarian, are being pushed to stretch themselves and go beyond what they’re used to. With Markarian’s role as Warner Huntington III, he is portraying a character that he doesn’t necessarily have a strong personal connection to. In the movie, Warner is a pompous up-and-coming law student who dumps his girlfriend at the time, Elle Woods, to move on from a fun and immature relationship to a more serious one.

“I’m a very comedic actor,” Markarian said. “Physical comedy and descriptive comedy is something I’m more comfortable with and can do really well.”

The long-awaited and anticipated show “Legally Blonde” is garnering attention, and tickets are rapidly selling out. WHSTE invites the community to come together for a night of entertainment and pleasure on Thursday, Nov. 18, Friday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 20. All performances are at 7:30 p.m.