PLANT CITY Pamela Heaps said she was enchanted with “Legally Blonde” when it hit the silver screen a few years ago.
So the 21-year-old jumped at the chance to land the starring role for Plant City Entertainment’s production of a comedy-musical based on the hit movie. The show opens Friday.
“The movie came out when I was in school and I immediately fell in love with it,” Heaps said.
She plays Elle Woods, the ditzy but kindhearted and loveable blonde who makes her mark at Harvard Law School. Her husband Ben plays Emmett Richmond, a love interest who helps Elle pick up the pieces after a broken romance.
The Heaps are among the cast of about 30 who will appear in the community theater’s production, which mirrors the movie story line.
Director Jennifer Fenner, who is directing her 13th show, said scene changes are the biggest challenge.
“We have three scene changes in two different songs alone. Everyone in the cast will have to help,” she said.
Tyler Hollis, who plays a snarly professor who begrudgingly comes to respect Elle before making a clumbsy pass, said he enjoys playing an unlikable character.
“This is the third show in a row that I’ve played the bad guy,” said Hollis, a theater member for 20 years. “I like it because it’s so unlike who I am in real life.”
Another veteran of the Plant City Entertainment stage, Oliver Sprague, said he looks forward to each production and “Legally Blonde The Musical” is no exception. He’s playing three different parts.
“I’m having a lot of fun with this. I always have a lot of fun,” Sprague said.
More than half the cast members are newcomers to the Plant City Entertainment stage, including Wendy Davidson, who plays Paulette, a hairdresser and confidante of Elle’s.
Davidson said she moved to the area a few years ago from New York, where she was active in acting. She is brushing off those skills in this musical.
“I really like the camaraderie of the cast. The role is challenging but everyone gets along so well so it’s just a pleasure,” she said.
Emilie Plants, who plays Brooke Wyndham, a fitness instructor acquitted of murdering her billionaire husband thanks to Elle’s unorthodox legal prowess, said she has never tried her hand at acting before.
“This is my first play and my first musical,” said Plants, who is a personal trainer. “The hardest part is the singing. I am working with a vocal coach.”
Fenner, the director, who helped found Plant City Entertainment in 1980, said the show is shaping up well.
“The cast is working so hard and I think they are doing a wonderful job,” she said. “It’s all about escaping the real world and all its problems. We all have fun. That’s what it’s all about.”
If You Go
What: Plant City Entertainment’s “Legally Blonde The Musical”
Performances: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and July 24, 25 and 26; matinee 2 p.m. Sunday; doors open an hour prior to curtain
Where: 101 N. Thomas St.
Tickets: $14 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, $10 for groups of more than 10; tickets available at door or in advance at Hardee’s Fashions, 1501 N. Wheeler St.; or at PCEshows.com/ticketing-online/
Information: (813) 754-4929