Legally Blonde Resilience: Conquering Challenges and Dominating the Courtroom

Image by Keylly Garcia ('24)

By: Zachary Goldberg

Every year, students from 13 different schools in Stamford come together to put on a theatrical production. This year’s musical was Legally Blonde, starring Kate Morton (‘25) from Stamford High School as Elle Woods, and Westhill’s very own Niko Rinaldi (‘25), playing the male lead, Emmett Forrest. Other supporting roles included Ava Wagner-Nast (SHS ‘24) in the role of Paulette, Lola Duhov (SHS ‘25) in the role of Vivian Kensington, Zach Louizos (King ‘25) in the role of Warner Huntington lll, Eli Donahue (WHS ‘26) in the role of Professor Callahan, and Kaylee Deenihan (SHS ‘25) in the role of Brooke Whyndam.

Legally Blonde is a story about Elle Woods, a young woman who is in love with a future Harvard law student, Warner Huntington lll.  Warner breaks up with Elle because he doesn’t believe in her intellectual capabilities, and her ability to take life seriously.  Elle chooses to prove her worth by working hard and applying to Harvard. Elle gets admitted into Harvard but realizes that Warner still doesn’t want her. However, she keeps trying to prove herself in Harvard. Along the way, she forges friendships with the help of her Delta Nu sorority friends. The make-or-break case for Elle was solving the murder trial in which Brooke Windham was held as the main suspect. Throughout Elle’s journey of self improvement, she realizes that she can be more than people see her as on the outside. 

While Legally Blonde seems like a simple and cheery musical, it is actually one of the more demanding performances to put on. Attributes such as a large and complex set, two working dogs, and challenging songs for both actors and the 13 piece orchestra all contributed to this intense level of difficulty. 

“It’s a big show, lots of quick changes and costumes, “ said Leo Field (SHS ‘24), who played Elle’s father and Aaron Shultz. There were also 38 microphone inputs, 34 orchestra inputs, and about 50 lights for the stage managers to work with.

One of the more unexpected challenges that faced the cast was the sickness that spread around, which even affected some of the leads. Niko Rinaldi (WHS ‘25) got sick the Monday after opening weekend and was absent from school for the whole week leading up to closing weekend. “It was kind of crazy,” said Niko Rinaldi (WHS ‘25). However, it might have positively impacted his performance as he got much more sleep and rest than he would have not gotten otherwise. 

Another case of sickness was caught by Lola Duhov (SHS ‘25). She played the role of Vivian and was able to perform on opening weekend. However, she got sick right before the closing weekend. Her understudy, Lilah Gordon (WHS ‘25) was called in, unprepared, with only 24 hours to get ready. 

“I prepared by running through the lines over and over again,” said Lilah Gordon (WHS ‘25). 

Due to the work she put in last-minute, she thinks she did her best and didn’t forget anything. In addition to Niko and Lola, an ensemble member, a Delta Nu role, and Whitney got sick.

Marvi Pabrekar (‘26) contributed to this article.