Friday, November 3, 2017

Q&A with the Cast and Director of Legally Blonde, a Dean College Theatre Production

The School of the Arts at Dean College presents Legally Blonde, beginning Wednesday, November 15 through Sunday, November 19, 2017. Based on a novel by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film of the same name, Legally Blonde tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend, Warner.

Director Alison Angelone along with actresses Sierra Key '18 (Elle Woods) and Briana Bronzetti '18 (Paulette Bonafonte) answered a few questions to get us acquainted with the upcoming Dean College production.

Q&A with the cast:

Q. What is your role in the performance? Tell us about your character:

Sierra Key (Elle Woods): Elle Woods is a Malibu girl, president of Delta Nu Sorority and a UCLA fashion merchandising major who follows her college sweetheart to Harvard Law School. She starts Harvard Law with a passion for her ex, Warner, and ends up with a passion for law. This is Elle Woods’ journey and fight to follow her passion to becoming a successful lawyer.

Briana Bronzetti (Paulette Bonafonte): Paulette is a spunky, brassy, fun-loving, down-to-earth, honest, kind woman with a killer sense of style. She works at The Hair Affair Salon where she meets Elle Woods. She has great comedic timing and a New England/Massachusetts accent. She is unapologetically herself 100% of the time.

Q. Can you see yourself in this character? If so, how:

Sierra Key (Elle Woods): Elle Woods and I have a great relationship. Coming to a New England liberal arts program from North Carolina was a big change in my life, similar to Elle Woods and her journey from California to Massachusetts. Elle Woods is constantly put down about her new decision to become a successful lawyer, a feeling that I can relate to as a student pursuing a theatre degree. Elle inspires me through her ability to prove her worth even when others doubt her. As this rehearsal process progresses, I continue to find personal connections to this character and story.

Briana Bronzetti (Paulette Bonafonte): Absolutely! This is a dream role of mine. She reminds me of my Aunt Myrna who has the same style and accent as Paulette. I definitely see myself in Paulette, especially when it comes to her always being herself – genuine, honest and funny. I think this is by far the most fun and challenging role I’ve ever had.

Q. What are you most excited for the audience to see?

Sierra Key (Elle Woods): Legally Blonde is not just the energetic musical you are expecting, but a show that is filled with life lessons and portrayed honestly on stage. I can't wait for the community to see this authentic production and be taken on Elle Woods' journey.

Briana Bronzetti (Paulette Bonafonte): I am most excited for the audience to see Paulette’s honesty. She is so naturally funny, without trying to be. This part can be easily performed very over the top, but she doesn’t have to be. She is funnier if it’s coming from a more honest place. That is something that our director Ali Angelone and I have been talking about a lot during this process. I am excited and hopeful that the audience will feel like they can relate to her!

Questions with the director:

Q. What inspired you to become the director of Dean College’s production of Legally Blonde?

Alison Angelone: Legally Blonde is a musical that I have always wanted to direct and choreograph. I am particularly inspired by Miss Elle Woods. She is an incredibly driven and strong-willed character who makes a difficult life decision and despite the challenges and constant criticism she receives, is determined to succeed. She serves as a reminder to us all that if we work hard enough and never give up, we can achieve greatness. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to direct this production at Dean College.

Q. What can a person expect when they go to see Legally Blonde?

Alison Angelone: Audiences can expect to see a “triple threat” production. One that is filled with a variety of acting, singing and dancing delivered by a cast and crew who tell Elle’s story authentically and with lots of flare! Laughter is on our menu!

Q. Talk about casting…what is the selection process?

Alison Angelone: I have directed and choreographed many productions in my career, but none were as difficult to cast as this one! We had a total of 100 extremely talented students audition for Legally Blonde! Everyone was required to sing 32 bars of an up-tempo contemporary song from the musical theatre repertoire, as well as participate in a rigorous dance audition. I called back a total of 60 people and cast 43. I have never worked with a cast this large before, but our students are so incredibly talented, they made it so difficult for me to say no. After auditions and callbacks, it took me 24 hours to come up with a final cast list. I love how dedicated our students are to their craft!
Legally Blonde, a Dean College Theatre Production
Legally Blonde, a Dean College Theatre Production

Q. What are you most excited for the audience to see?

Alison Angelone: Legally Blonde is a musical that appeals to all generations. We all face life challenges. We fail, we get back up, we fight, we love, we give, we take, we lose, we learn and we continue to grow. And in the end, we just might succeed. We are so excited to share Elle’s journey with the audience!

The Dean College production of Legally Blonde will take place in the Main Stage in the Campus Center at Dean College, 99 Main Street, Franklin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday and 2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Book by Heather Hach. Legally Blonde is based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture. To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit

Dean College is a private, residential New England college grounded in a culture and tradition that all students deserve the opportunity for academic and personal success. A uniquely supportive community for more than 150 years, Dean has woven together extensive student support and engagement with exceptional teaching and innovative campus activities. Our graduates are lifetime learners who thrive in their careers, embrace social responsibility and demonstrate leadership. This is The Dean Difference.

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