As cute as Reese Witherspoon but with better pipes, Laura Bell Bundy is Broadway’s new Elle Woods.
Bundy, who originated the role of Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray, has also played Glinda in Wicked and appeared in the TV series Veronica Mars and Strangers with Candy (and Theater Dogs have BIG LOVE for Strangers with Candy).
She’ll play Elle, the ditzy sorority girl who ends up at Harvard Law in the new Broadway-bound musical version of Legally Blonde, opening in San Francisco in January.
Other members of the creative team are Jerry Mitchell, making his Broadway directorial debut (he’ll also choreograph), Heather Hach (book) and Nell Benjamin and Laurence O’Keefe (music and lyrics)
Just watched an interesting DVD documentary about Stagedoor Manor, the summer camp for pre-teens and teens who just gotta sing and gotta dance. Famous alumni of the camp include Zach Braff, Natalie Portman and Mandy Moore. Reese Witherspoon said that a counselor at the camp told her to never, ever sing in public (as you may recall, Ms. Witherspoon won an Oscar this year for a role that required her to sing in public).
The movie, was directed by Alexandra Shiva and is a sweet tribute to that mysterious impulse that makes a person need to express creativity on a stage. The true theater geeks among you will know that this is the same summer camp that inspired the 2003 movie Camp, which is great fun.
The documentary, which runs a mere 79 minutes, is less fun if only because we don’t get to know the campers as well as we might. But those we do get to know — super-talented Randi Kleiner, ADD-afflicted Taylor Rabow, earnest Maddy Weinstein, wisecracking Nicole Doring and super-talented Robert Wright — are delightful.
As you might expect, there’s a lot of DRAMA, especially where the members of the camp’s elite cabaret performance group are concerned (what the heck is the kissing game that causes so much trouble?), but mostly the movie is a sweet testament to the satisfaction of drama geeks finding other drama geeks and putting on a big show.
Watch the trailer here.