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August 9, 2012
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Pure summer fun comes to Beaver Creek stage

Legally Blonde is so much fun it should be illegal.

"Legally Blonde the Musical" is this summer's Vail Performing Arts Academy production.

They put 75 local student actors on stage, between 8 and 18 years old. Everyone sings and dances all the time, which suits Meredith Steinke just fine.

She's Elle, and if your cultural education is lacking, she's the blonde and star of Legally Blonde the Musical. She has done a Vail Performing Arts Academy musical every summer for the last 11 years, since she was 7 years old, which wasn't really all that long ago. She's pushing 18 years old and is a Battle Mountain High School junior.

"This is the biggest role I've gotten and I've loved every minute of it," she said.

That's a massive bunch of minutes. They rehearse from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. four days a week.

"The music is fun, the costumes are amazing, and the energy the cast gives off is so positive," Steinke said.

The award winning "Legally Blonde The Musical" is based on the hit movie "Legally Blonde," starring Reese Witherspoon.

Winner of seven major awards including the coveted Best Musical 2011 in the Olivier Awards. It's an all-singing, all-dancing romantic comedy is about knowing who you are and showing what you have.

'Don't want it to end'

Elle Woods is young, beautiful and about to learn she's also bright. When her boyfriend, Warner, dumps her, she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School and win him back.

With some help from new-found friends Paulette, Emmett and her chihuahua Bruiser, she learns that beautiful is good, but smart and strong are better.

"It gives you hope that anyone, even 'the stereotypical dumb blondes' can accomplish more than just marrying their perfect McDreamy," Steinke said. "They can find their way and really discover their hopes and dreams."

Alec Mauro is Warner, Elle's boyfriend gone bad. Woody Brooks is Emmett Forrest, a mentor who becomes Elle's love interest.

Steinke is in just about every number, and has 10 quick costume changes. She says her favorite song is the finale, "Find My Way." Elle sings about discovering who she wants to be. Eventually she graduates first in her Harvard law class.

"I'm so excited for the show, but at the same time I don't want it to end! If I could do this for a career on Broadway, I would be one of the happiest people in the world," Steinke said.

Not your ordinary kid show

The Vail Performing Arts Academy is celebrating its 17th year of providing performing arts instruction.

The show is directed by Colin Meiring, a Broadway veteran and Hollywood choreographer and performer, and ballroom dance champion.

This is not your ordinary kid show, Meiring said.

"It's highly polished, a bit edgy, and oh so funny," he said.

Meiring and the cast pulled the production together in just four weeks.

The professional staff includes Annah Scully, founder and executive producer, musical directors Melinda Carlson and Cindy Allard, assistant choreographer and dance instructor Maria Barry and costumer Janet Huntoon.

For more information about VPAA programs and to enroll in the Fall Revue, "Mullets and Metal: A tribute to 80s Glam Rock," visit www.vailperformingarts.com.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Aug 9, 2012 04:54PM Published Aug 9, 2012 04:51PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.