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'Legally Blonde' cast whipped into shape

August 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Triple-threat actors have to really be in shape to sing, dance and act well. The cast of "Legally Blonde: The Musical" takes it to the extreme.It's not surprising to see more than two dozen cast members on the national touring company of "Legally Blonde: The Musical" dancing up a storm eight shows a week. And as you'd expect, they all have strong singing voices. But with this particular show, the talented cast was asked to jump in with even more energy than usual.

"The 'Whipped Into Shape' number happens at the top of the second act," says dance captain Sarah Jenkins. "So we've already had that whole entire first act, and then we're going, going, going. And then we sit for 20 minutes at intermission. So it's a big, you know, slap in the face to try to get ourselves up and going again for the second act."

For four minutes and 24 seconds, the company sings, dances, and jumps rope with the unique show-stopping number. The cast members who perform the song had to whip themselves into the best shape possible in order to build the stamina needed to do this song.

"At first it's daunting, but then once you do it every day it becomes second nature," says Sara Andreas.

"It's the most exhausting, but it's also very thrilling," says Brian Patrick Murphy. "I mean, Mamie and I have both been in the show since the beginning of the tour, so we're coming up on 400 performances now."

"There's so many elements that come into play when they all match, when the energy level is there, when the ropes cooperate, when the floor cooperates, and the audience is right there, it's really cool," says Mamie Parris. "It's not paralleled with anything else I've done."

"Its' a fun show, it keeps our energy and our spirits up," says Lauren Zakrin. "It's not like we're not going to do something depressing. It's fun and it's high energy, so it's something that's kind of easy to stick around and keep doing."

As long as they can keep that one ingredient to help them get whipped into shape each night.

"My trick is coffee, lots of coffee before the show," says Zakrin.

"Legally Blonde: The Musical" plays at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles through September 6. Then the tour goes to the Orange County Performing Arts Center from September 8-20.

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