Arts & Entertainment

Springfield’s Jonathan Dayton Spring Musical is “Legally Blonde”

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Credits: http://broadwaymusicalhome.com/shows/legallyblonde.htm
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Ashley Bauers Credits: Chip Dickson
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SPRINGFIELD, NJ – Legally Blonde hits the Jonathan Dayton High School stage March 30-April 1 at 7 p.m. and April 2 at 2 p.m.  Tickets are going on sale soon and will be $12 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens (65+).

Ashley Bauers is directing the musical and has is a big cast to direct. In the Broadway musical there were over 30 parts.   Unlike the middle school, the music will be played by high school students.   Like the middle school production the crew members help with make-up and stage duties.  Set design for the musical is done in collaboration with 11thourDesign, which builds the set. 

When asked about how she went about choosing the musical, Ms. Bauers said, “I take into consideration the group of kids I think are going to audition based on the previous year's cast and who is involved in the Chorale, as well as the rest of the music department.  I look for something that I think the cast and production team will enjoy working on for 4-6 months, and also something that will be interesting to the general public. I try to vary the kind of musical from year to year, if possible. For instance, last year's American Idiot was very serious, heavy subject matter that needed to be rated, and so excluded most of our youngest audience members, so this year we purposefully wanted to try something upbeat, happy and inclusive.”

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She continued, “We take into consideration the set and costuming needs of the show; we have a relatively small stage at JDHS so we try to choose pieces that will be well served by our facility.  For example, we don't have a fly system, so Peter Pan was out!.  Finally, I try to choose shows that my students should have in their musical theater repertoire- sometimes that means a classic piece like The Music Man, sometimes it's more modern like In the Heights.”

Legally Blonde opened on Broadway on April 29, 2007 and closed October 19, 2008 after 595 performances.  The story is based on a novel of the same name by Amanda Brown and the 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon. 

A user review from www.imdb.com wrote, “This is a high energy musical with a genuine feel good factor to it. The songs supplied by the husband and wife team of Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin are excellent; the choreography is spectacular; and the dialogue leaves nothing to be desired.”

Every day Ms. Bauers travels between the middle school and high school to teach her classes.  This is her eleventh year as a music teacher in the Springfield School System.  Last year she was Teacher of the Year at Jonathan Dayton High School.  She teaches Choir, General Music for the sixth grade, World Music for the eighth grade and Keyboard for the seventh grade.  In the spring semester she directs the high school musical.  She graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2006 with a degree in Music Education.

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