For Lenore Weir, directing "Legally Blonde: The Musical" for Woodbury Community Theatre is a bit like going shopping with its irrepressible heroine, Elle Woods.
It's not always easy to keep with such a force of nature.
"The way it's written, it never, ever stops," Weir said. "It's not like an old-fashioned show where you have end-of-scene plus a blackout and you change the set. That's not how it works."
The musical is based on the 2001 movie that starred Reese Witherspoon as a bubbly but by no means bubble-headed California girl turned law student.
The local production opens July 21 at the Loft Stage at the Merrill Community Arts Center at East Ridge High School. The show is rated PG-13.
The musical's can-do optimism and girl power message, delivered with a heart over the 'i,' has been discovered by new generations of young girls. Elle's pink outfits don't hurt either.
Elle, played by Emma Foster, is a jilted sorority princess who enrolls at Harvard Law School in an effort to win back her blue-blood fiance. Her fellow legal interns dismiss her as a punchline, but Elle eventually proves herself to her colleagues, who include the starchy Vivian, her chief antagonist. Vivian is played by Kajsa Jones, a 2011 graduate of East Ridge. Last fall, Jones returned to her alma mater to direct "Childhood," which East Ridge performed in the Minnesota State High School League One-Act Play Competition.
"This is a nice return to being onstage," Jones said. "I love directing and that's really kind of my professional passion, but it all started with acting for me, so it's nice to go back to that side for a while and not be in charge."
This is the first Woodbury Theatre production for Jennifer Jacober of Cottage Grove. A Pennsylvania transplant, she said she's wowed by the caliber and commitment of the cast.
"Let me tell you, I don't think I've ever worked with a cast went into this thing with no holds barred," she said, during a break from rehearsal.
It's also the first Woodbury show for Mickey Van Drehle of Bloomington. Like director Weir, he's still getting up to speed with the shows shop-til-you-drop pace.
"Right now the changes have been tough because I go from one costume to the next in the same song," he said.
If you go
"Legally Blonde: The Musical" runs 7 p.m. July 21-22 and 28-29 and 3 p.m. July 23 and 30. Tickets are $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 students, and free for active military families. Group pricing of 20 percent off is available for 12 or more tickets purchased for the same performance. The show is rated PG-13. More info and tickets can be purchased at www.merrillartscenter.org or by calling 612-399-6568.