From the first unison squeal of “Oh My God, You Guys” to the last pitch perfect note of “Legally Blonde,” the multi-talented members of Encore, Alonso High School's theater troupe gave a Broadway worthy performance.
The performance had its opening weekend Oct.5-6. The musical “Legally Blonde” is about a seemingly air-headed blonde named Elle who follows her boyfriend to Harvard only to realize her own self-worth and success.
Theater instructor Lisa Vorreiter led the performance by the Encore cast of 35, a crew of 23, plus additional cast and two four-legged performers.
“Of the 58 in this production, only 13 have been on the stage before,” said Vorreiter. “There’s a lot of new people this year.”
Now in its fourth year, Encore offers incoming and existing Alonso students the opportunity to audition for the new season each spring.
“Anyone already in or coming into Alonso is eligible to audition,” said Vorreiter. “They have to do two out of three things: sing, dance or do a monologue. There is also an interview process and they have a contract that they and their parents sign.”
Vorreiter explained that the troupe is extremely time-intensive and can have a financial obligation involved due to the competitions in which Encore participates.
Last year, Encore went to main stage at the State Festival and this year their production of “Legally Blonde” is being screened to go to the State competition.
Sixteen year old Jennifer Totcky, a junior at Alonso said she’d been interested in Encore since she signed up in middle school and received a letter to audition.
It was Totcky’s first year taking a lead role on stage.
“I was in shock, but also extremely excited,” Totcky said of winning the coveted lead role of Elle.
Kyle Allen, 17, was cast as Warner Huntington III, the smug, self-righteous ex-boyfriend.
“My first year here, I was amazed at how professional everything went. The quality of our shows has been an experience that I will never forget,” Allen said. “The audience’s response is one of the most amazing experiences that anyone should have and it’s the satisfaction of doing a good job.”
An Encore member for just one year, Senior Zachary Abati played Emmett Forest, the poorly dress working class Harvard man that eventually won Elle’s heart over Warner.
“I love getting to be act like someone else, getting to the end of the performance and having the audience applaud,” said Abati. “ It helps escape the troubles of everyday life.”
Senior Isaiah Pursel, 17 played the predatory lawyer, Professor Callahan who stole a kiss from Elle and then fired her for not accepting his advances. And Junior Abby Daner, 16 played the obnoxious-in-the-beginning-nice-in-the-end fiancé/ex-fiance of Warner, Vivienne Kensington.
Both lead actors said they loved getting into character and the applause at the end of the show.
Vorreiter explained what she enjoyed best about teaching such a versatile class.
“I like to see when it finally it finally clicks for them, when they get it and get bitten by the bug. It’s a welcoming group. They treat each other like family. It’s a time in their lives when they can feel kind of alone. It’s nice for them to have a group that they really feel like they belong to.”
Encore's next production is "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" on December 18, 19 at 7:00p.m.
To learn more about Encore and to see their upcoming season, visit www.alonsotheatredepartment.com.