FHS’ers go full ‘Blonde’

  • Carter

  • Cross

Farragut High School musical theater students will be presenting “Legally Blonde The Musical” next week in a limited attendance performance.

While the performance begins at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 21, and Thursday, Jan. 22, Dr. Tony Wooley, FHS’s musical theater and forensics drama teacher, said it will be limited to family members of the production’s cast and crew to observe COVID guidelines.

“COVID has changed just about everything,” Wooley said.  “The county has requested that we limit it to the family members of the participants.

“There are two sides of that coin,” he added. “Obviously,  I’m very disappointed we can’t perform the show for a larger audience; but in the world as it is … I am just very grateful we are able to have the show at all.

“I think the parents, grandparents, siblings are going to be incredibly pleased and proud. I think the kids are going to be very grateful to perform for them.”

Wooley said all of the students will be wearing masks at all times.

“And we have put in procedures for proper sanitation and social distancing during rehearsal and production for the students and everybody,” he added.

The production involves 35 cast and seven crew members. Leading the cast are Mary Claire Carter as Elle Woods; Mason Cross as Emmett Forest, who later becomes Elle’s boyfriend; Charley Becker as Warner, the ex-boyfriend; Cecilia “Ceci” Lovelace as Vivian Kensington, Warner’s girlfriend; and  Grace Gee, the student director. 

“I could not be more excited to play Emmett Forrest,” Mason Cross, a sophomore, said. “I guess, in a way, you could say that I do felt connected to this character.

“We definitely share a very similar personality and way that we handle ourselves, which made it a lot easier to learn the character,” Cross added.

“One of my favorite parts is the character development of Elle and her journey in realizing that she does not need her ex-boyfriend keeping her down. I also enjoy watching her evolve into a confident and independent woman despite the obstacles she faces.”

Wooley said Carter, a junior, was chosen to portray Elle because “she is an absolute incredible talent, and she is a wonderful, all-around student.

“I have been working with her since she was a freshman, and every part she has ever gotten she has worked her hardest at, always performed wonderfully in her audition.

“And she knocks her (performance) out of the park,” he added. “I am incredibly blessed with very talented students.

“All of my kiddos in this program are exceptional in different ways.”

He said the musical was selected because it was one of the students’ favorites, with good music, a lot of energy and “I have very strong female performers.

“And, it really does promote female empowerment as a strength,” Wooley added.

He said the movie and musical production relates a “stereotype of what a young woman can or can’t do and how she could choose to be a stereotype or choose to break the mold.

“There are so many reasons for (students) participating, but in this year that has been so difficult,” Wooley added.

“I hope my students are able to look back on this experience as a shining, wonderful memory in an otherwise very challenging year.”