OMIGOD! IT’S BEEN 10 YEARS?! On this day 10 years ago, Musical Theatre made history with the first Broadway show ever to be filmed for MTV. That particular show was Legally Blonde The Musical.
Filmed in front of a sold out crowd at Broadway’s Palace Theatre, MTV filmed LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL in it’s entirety along with Behind the Scenes action in between commercial breaks hosted by Lauren Conrad, Audrina Patridge, and Whitney Eve Port from MTV’s The Hills. For that filmed performance, MTV and Classic Entertainment Group teamed up and gave away free tickets for fans that showed off their best PINK attire, It officially aired on the channel that very next month.
The show is of course based on the acclaimed film of the same name telling the story of a popular blonde sorority girl who tries to win back her Harvard Law School boyfriend by following him there and becomes a lawyer to prove to him she’s serious. It features a score by it’s Tony nominated husband/wife duo Nell Benjamin and Laurence O’Keefe and a book by Heather Hach. The show ran on Broadway for 30 previews and 595 regular performances.
The cast of the filmed performance featured majority of the original Broadway cast including…
Tony nominee Laura Bell Bundy as “Elle Woods”,
future time Tony winner Christian Borle as “Emmett Forrest”,
Richard H. Blake as “Warner Huntington III”,
Actors’ Equity Association president kate shindle as “Vivienne”,
Tony nominee Orfeh as “Paulette”,
Tony winner Michael Rupert as “Professor Callahan”,
Nikki Snelson as “Brooke Wyndham”,
future Olivier winner and Tony nominee Andy Karl as “Kyle”,
and future Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford as “Margot”.
Following the success of the MTV filmed performance, LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL continued to partner with the channel for a reality show that casted a lucky leading lady to take over the role of “Elle Woods” from Laura Bell Bundy. It was entitled LEGALLY BLONDE: THE SEARCH FOR ELLE WOODS. Hosted by Haylie Duff, the series follows some aspiring leading ladies wanting to take over the role of “Elle Woods” on Broadway going through an intense callback like never before. Each week, they learned material from the show, perform scene work and songs, and get mentored by members of the cast. The girls would be critiqued by a panel of judges which included the show’s casting director Bernard Telsey (of Telsey & Company Casting), the show’s book writer Heather Hach, and cast member Paul Canaan (who appeared in the Ensemble of the show 8 times a week) who eliminated 1-2 girls each week. At the very end, it was Bailey Hanks who won the role of “Elle Woods” taking over on July 23rd, 2008 from Laura Bell Bundy. Hanks stayed with the show through it’s final performance on October 19th, 2018.
For the girls that were eliminated, they all went on to better Broadway opportunities including…
Autumn Hurlbert, who ended up appearing in the Ensemble and understudying “Elle Woods” when Hanks joined. She is currently starring as “Portia” on the National Tour of Something Rotten The Musical,
Rhiannon Hansen Clark ended up landing the role of “Margot” and understudying Becky Gulsvig as “Elle Woods” on the National Tour,
Lauren Zarkin appeared in the Ensemble and also understudied Gulsvig as “Elle” on the National Tour. She later went on to appear as “Sherrie” in Rock of Ages, “Glinda” in WICKED The Musical, and recently in the Ensemble of The Great Comet,
Celina Carvajal (now goes by the name Lena Hall) ended up in hit shows like Kinky Boots on Broadway and won a Tony for her performance as “Yitzhak” in HEDWIG on Broadway,
Rachel Potter went on to appear in hit shows like The Addams Family Musical and Evita – The Musical. She later went on to appear on The X Factor is now a country artist,
Here is it in it’s entirety, the filmed performance of LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL.
How awesome is it?! SNAPS!!
Laura Bell Bundy, Christian Borle, Orfeh, Michael Rupert, Kate Shindle, Nikki Snelson, Richard H. Blake MTV recorded Legally Blonde while it still is in it’s…
Love our posts? Click here to follow us on Facebook!