After seeing “Legally Blonde” performed on Broadway, Erika Moul knew she was meant to play Elle Woods.
And when she finally was offered the chance to portray the character, Moul said she couldn’t refuse.
“I immediately collapsed and started crying,” the theatre senior said. “It’s my dream role.”
The musical is based on the 2001 movie that follows California girl Elle Woods on her journey to win back her ex-boyfriend by getting accepted to Harvard Law School.
“If you love the movie, (the play is) 10 times funnier,” Moul said. “It’s so much more deep.”
Department of Theatre Head of Acting and Directing Rob Roznowski, who also is the show’s director, said although the musical follows the same plotline as the movie, he and his cast have strived to make their version unique by concentrating more on the emotional parts of the story and making Woods’ transformation from a ditzy, materialistic blonde to a hardworking law student more evident. Additionally, Woods’ dog in the production is a great dane rather than a chihuahua, and the stage has a turntable that switches sets much faster than a traditional stage.
“It’s one of the best new musicals in the last decade or so,” he said. “(Our version) really just moves the plot along so well.”
Moul said this role has been much easier for her to portray than ones she has played in the past because she also is a blonde who has experienced many of the same things as Woods.
“She relates a lot to me, and sometimes I forget that I’m even acting because a lot of the situations that she deals with are things that I deal with every day,” she said. “I take almost every life experience that I’ve had as a girl that you can possibly take and put it into this show — every emotional memory that I’ve had with girls and bullying and guys not being the best guys to date.”
But Moul also made some adjustments to the character to make it more her own and less like the Woods other actresses before her have portrayed.
“This is the first time I get to play (Woods), and I’m a character, and I think Elle Woods is a character,” she said. “I think she has more character than normal sorority girls.”
Theatre senior Christopher Robinson, who plays Emmett, also landed his dream role in the last production he will be a part of at MSU.
“I saw the musical in senior year (of high school), (and) I was like, ‘I will play that part before I die,’” he said.
Robinson and Moul aren’t the only seniors performing in the show, and Robinson said that has made being in the production that much more enjoyable.
“Throughout our four years (at MSU), we’ve had our ups and downs, but throughout the show, we’ve really all come together and really bonded,” he said. “The fact that we get to spend four hours a night together, it’s been really nice, and having this story to tell and having it end with a graduation scene (has been special).”
Moul said although the graduation scene has been the most difficult one for her to perfect because of the fact that it’s almost time for her to receive her diploma, she still is looking forward to performing it Friday and seeing the audience’s reaction.
“I’m going to cry a lot,” she said. “The first time we actually ran the show, and it got to that part, I couldn’t even sing because I got really emotional. I think it’s going to be better than what our real graduation is going to be because we’re all on stage together, and the music is so beautiful — it’s perfect.”