OMIGOD YOU GUYS!!! There's more of the best of Broadway to watch on social media during this continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. 12 years ago, MTV produced a reality series to search for a rising newcomer leading lady to star in Legally Blonde on Broadway. The reality show entitled LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL: THE SEARCH FOR ELLE WOODS came following the success of MTV's acclaimed filmed performance of the musical. LEGALLY BLONDE made history as the first Broadway show filmed for MTV.
Hosted by Haylie Duff, the series follows 8 weeks of young actresses as they go through the ultimate audition process EVER to replace the show's original leading lady Tony nominee Laura Bell Bundy as the pinkish sportiest, fashionably sorority queen turned serious Harvard Law lawyer herself "Elle Woods". Each episode featured the girls in an intense callback bootcamp where they learn and perform material from the show (Both SCENES AND SONGS). You also see the girls go through various workshops to get them inspired for their performances, go through some personal dramas at each other, and get mentored (plus with their scenes, they perform) with members from the Broadway cast of LEGALLY BLONDE.
Each of the girls performances were critiqued by a panel of judges. At the end of each episode, the 3 aspiring "Elle's" who had the weakest performance were sent to the Casting Office. There, the judges meet up with the girls and determine which "Elle's" would BOTH continue to the next round and be eliminated. The judges consisted of….
Bernard Telsey of Telsey & Company Casting (the casting director for the musical),
Heather Hach (the book writer for the musical),
and Paul Canaan (Ensemble member in the musical).
In the first and last episode, the show's director and choreographer Tony winner Jerry Mitchell served as the additional 4th judge.
They were also coached alongside….
Broadway Guru Seth Rudetsky,
the show's associate choreographer Denis Jones,
and the show's associate director Marc Bruni.
The winning "Elle" was Bailey Hanks. She made her Broadway debut replacing Laura Bell Bundy on July 23rd, 2008 and continued with the show through its final Broadway performance on October 19th, 2008.
Along with Hanks' win, some of the other additional "Elle's" who were eliminated went on to even better Broadway successes including…
the runner-up Autumn Hurlbert (who ended up appearing in the Ensemble in the show and served as the "Elle Woods" understudy) – most recently seen on the National Tour of Something Rotten,
Lauren Zakrin (who ended up going on the National Tour as part of the Ensemble and served as the "Elle Woods" understudy) – seen on Broadway in both Rock of Ages and Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812,
Cassie Okenka – who later went on to appear on Broadway in School of Rock the Musical,
We are so excited to share with you below all 8 episodes here on YouTube. This series is also amazing for all our fellow aspiring performers what the process is like with going to audition for a Broadway show.
EPISODE 1: YOU'RE CUT
Song/Scene: SO MUCH BETTER
Guest cast member: Tony nominee Laura Bell Bundy ("Elle Woods")
EPISODE 2: AND THEN THERE WERE 10
Song/Scene: Jail scene at the top of Act 2 (DELTA NU NU NU)
Guest cast member: Nikki Snelson ("Brooke Wyndam")
EPISODE 5: THESE PINK BOOTS ARE MADE FOR DANCING
Guest cast member: Kate Shindle ("Vivienne Kensington")
EPISODE 6: BLONDE TO THE BONE
Song/Scene: LEGALLY BLONDE (THE BALLAD)
Guest cast members: Tony nominee Laura Bell Bundy ("Elle Woods") and Andy Karl ("Kyle: The UPS Man", u/s "Emmett Forest")
EPISODE 7: TRIPPLE THREAT TEST
Song/Scene: WHAT YOU WANT
Guest cast member: The LEGALLY BLONDE Ensemble
EPISODE 8 AND THE FINALE: A STAR IS BORN
Song/Scene: OMIGOD YOU GUYS, POSITIVE, & SO MUCH BETTER
Guest cast members: The full LEGALLY BLONDE cast
In case anyone may not be familiar with the musical LEGALLY BLONDE, it tells the story of a sorority girl "Elle Woods" who gets dumped by her boyfriend ("Warner Huntington III) due to her being a dumb blonde and not SERIOUS material. However, she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School just to win him back. Along the way, she discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others and how to always stay true to herself. Based on the book by Amanda Brown and the 2001 MGM film of the same name, the musical featured a score by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe along with a book by Heather Hach.
The musical ran at Broadway's Palace Theatre for 30 previews and 595 regular performances.
Who here remembers the LEGALLY BLONDE reality show?!!!
What were the standout moments?
Anyone see LEGALLY BLONDE Live?