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‘Legally Blonde’ Opens Musical Season

Oklahoma City University will open its 61st consecutive season of opera and music theater with “Legally Blonde” Sept. 28-30 in the historic Kirkpatrick Auditorium at N.W. 25th Street and Blackwelder Avenue. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

The Bass School of Music production features a cast of 35, custom costumes and stage design, and a 13-piece rock band. Director David Herendeen says the romantic musical comedy is quick moving and clever.

“‘Legally Blonde’ is a smart show: high energy, big laughs, great tunes. It’s a real showcase for OCU’s star talent,” Herendeen said.

Based on the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, the musical inspired an MTV reality show, ran for more than 600 performances on Broadway, spawned several national and international tours and won Best New Musical at the 2011 Laurence Olivier Awards in London.

The plot revolves around the adventures of Elle Wood, sorority queen and fashion merchandising major. After her boyfriend dumps her, she dries her tears, hits the books and sets her sights on Harvard Law, where she discovers that being true to oneself never goes out of style.

OCU’s musical accompaniment for the production — three keyboardists, three brass players, woodwinds, guitar, bass and drums — is under the direction of Jan McDaniel.

Music and lyrics for “Legally Blonde” are by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin; Heather Hach is librettist for the 2007 work.

Herendeen will present a free director’s talk 45 minutes before each show at Oklahoma City University.

Tickets range from $12 to $25 and are available from www.okcu.edu/tickets or (405) 208-5227.

An opening night dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Friday in the atrium of the Bass Music Center. Cost is $20 in advance.

OCU’s Opera and Music Theater Company will continue its season with English language productions of Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” Oct. 5-7 (spotlight opera, $10) and Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” Nov. 9-11 (Kirkpatrick Auditorium, $12-25).

Spring semester shows are Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” Feb. 22-24 (Kirkpatrick, $12-25), performed in Italian with English supertitles; “110 in the Shade” March 1-3, from “The Fantasticks” creative team of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (spotlight musical, $10); and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning “Into the Woods” April 26-28, (Kirkpatrick, $12-25).

For the latest news and events from the Bass School of Music, visit www.facebook.com/bassschoolofmusic.