The SHN/Best of Broadway folks threw a party at Ruby Skye nightclub the other night to entice group ticket buyers to show some love for Legally Blonde, which has its out-of-town tryouts in San Francisco early next year at the Golden Gate (yes, the Golden Gate because they couldn’t built the necessary elevator lifts under the stage at the Orpheum, where the show was originally slated).
Jerry Mitchell, who’s making his Broadway directorial debut with the show (and who also will provide his Tony Award-winning high-energy choreography) was introduced by SHN’s Carole Shorenstein Hays as, “One of the most talented young people of our era.”
Mitchell was joined by star Laura Bell Bundy (Elle Woods), composer/lyricist Laurence O’Keefe (his composer/lyricist cohort, Nell Benjamin, was literally going into labor with her first child in Los Angeles) and co-star (and former Miss America) Kate Shindle as Elle’s brunette nemesis.
After the presentation, Jerry Mitchell and I hustled over to posh eatery Michael Minna for an interview over wine (syrah) and extraordinary appetizers: the ahi tuna tartar and the seared scallops. Unfortunately, the food was so good I don’t remember anything Mr. Mitchell said.
Kidding. I remember it all, and you’ll read it here and in Jones for Theater in the coming months.
I will tell you this: after he takes Legally Blonde to Broadway, Mitchell is heading for Sin City. As the originator, director and choreographer of the annual fundraiser Broadway Bares, Mitchell is a well-known fan of burlesque. Well, he’s taking coals to Newcastle. He’s creating Peep, a strip show starring Little Bo Peep and her fairy tale friends for the Hard Rock Hotel. Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party) has written the score. The show, for which the Hard Rock is building a theater (that’s how they roll in Vegas — build it and they will come), was supposed to usher in the New Year as 2007 turned into 2008, but they’re all so hot and bothered about Mitchell’s show that they want it earlier.
First comes the blonde, then comes the burlesque. Hasn’t it always been thus?
More later, dogs.