A musical version of the novel by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film which starred Reese Witherspoon, the show tells the story of Elle — portrayed by junior Maureen Bach — as she transitions from sorority party girl to lawyer.
Overcoming stereotypes is the overarching theme of the production, said Naomi Rollins, the production's faculty adviser, as Elle must overcome the prejudices leveled against her.
“She's this Malibu-Barbie-type of person that goes through a transformation,” said Rollins. “We feel like the message of this is that there’s always stereotypes about every kind of person — and everyone is awesome.”
Rollins said that the show itself would be a fairly faithful retelling of the film — save for the addition of music and dance numbers.
“It's a musical version of the movie,” she said.
Over the past month, Rollins said, the Student Union has undergone a dramatic transformation as the stage and sets have taken shape to recreate the feel of Harvard University — as well as to accommodate the large dance numbers.
“We have very big dance numbers that'll be coming out into the audience,” she said. “The stage now extends forward into the audience so it'll be kind of like a semicircle experience.”
Rollins said that the production had evolved into quite a complicated one.
“It’s a beast of a show,” she said. “It's been a very large team effort.”
The production actually has three directors — Karin Babbitt, Kendra Kannegaard, along with student Director Darwin Garrett, a junior.
Choreographing the show's dance numbers is Shannon Marie Kerr and Maddy Bruce. The music will be provided by a live band and will be directed by Dan Goldsmith.
Babbitt, who has directed several previous productions at Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley high schools, said that she was excited about the show's opening.
“It just seems like all the right pieces came together,” she said. “I think people are going to find the Student Union transformed.”
In addition to the 30-student cast, Rollins said that there were some 20 other students involved behind the scenes, making costumes, building sets, manning the lights and sound, as well as rigging up the production's large digital projector, something she said she was particularly excited about due to its versatility for set backdrops.
“We're doing some new technical stuff that we're really excited about,” she said. “We have some different kids of sets that'll be projected.”
The show is set to open on Friday, April 18 and will be performed on Fridays and Saturdays through May 3 at 7:30 p.m.
A matinee is scheduled for Sunday, April 27.
Ticket prices are set at $10 for students, $12 for general admission and can be purchased at the door or at www.showtix4u.com.