Beauty and brains, this musical has it all

Tonight could turn sassy if you decide to drop by the opening of “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” premiering at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

The music is tricky, the word play is witty, and the set is digital projection combined with traditional bricks-and-motor design.

“It’s pretty much the same as the movie, except with music,” said Kharma Stambaugh, who plays Margo in the show. “There’s lots of dancing, too.”

Director Dennis McGraw said the audience can expect to be thrilled and entertained, and there could be a few surprises in the wings.

“There’s a fantastic number around the ‘bend and snap’,” McGraw said. “If you’ve seen the movie, you know what that is.”

He said the musical has been a stretching experience for the cast, 31 members strong, because the music is difficult, and the choreography is challenging.

“It’s coming together,” McGraw said.

Stambaugh, 15, from Kalaheo, is stepping into her first role with Kauai Performing Arts Center and said the experience is stretching her. She plays the best friend of Elle Woods, the main character in the musical who gets dumped by her boyfriend and decides to attend Harvard Law to get him back.

“I like singing and dancing and my friends are involved, so I joined them,” Stambaugh said. “It’s taking me totally out of my comfort zone, but that’s what makes it fun.”

Sara Morimoto, 17, and a veteran actress with KPAC, plays Brooke, a professional fitness guru who is accused of killing her husband.

“I wear this orange jumpsuit, but it’s tied so it’s all cute,” Morimoto said.

She said the character of Brooke was a challenge because she’s a high-energy character with a solo.

“At first in rehearsals I’d get winded jumping around and singing at the same time,” Morimoto said. “I’ve got it down now.”

Noah Cabello, also a veteran with KPAC, plays the suave lawyer in charge of Brooke’s case, Callahan.

“He’s a gator – a real jerk but he’s very charismatic and that’s been a difficult thing to try and balance,” Cabello said. “If you’re too charismatic, you’ll come off as a pretty boy and if you’re too much of a jerk, you’re too off-putting.”

Cabello said he’s comfortable with the role now, and is amped for opening night.

“I’ve got this,” he said. “This is going to be a great show.”

“Legally Blonde: The Musical” runs tonight, April 23, and April 29 at 7 p.m. On April 24 and May 1, the show begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and are available at the door.

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