By Alison Baumgartner
In 2001, when Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods stepped out on the big screen—dressed head-to-toe in pink with her color-coordinated Chihuahua Bruiser in tow—an icon was born. Her cheery, can-do personality interwoven with her firm self-confidence cemented her as an inspirational figure to a whole generation, and that adoration from fans has only grown stronger over the last two decades. Now this cult classic film is a hit musical, and it’s coming to The Lincoln Center March 9–11!
“It’s an absolute honor to bring this show around the country and inspire new generations,” says Hannah Bonnett, who plays Elle Woods in the national tour of Legally Blonde – The Musical. “It warms my heart that people who love the show or, who have never seen it, always leave the theatre with a smile on their face!”
Bonnett’s love for Elle stems from the fact that she is not a cookie-cutter character. In any other story, Elle would be superficial, greedy and brainless but in Legally Blonde, Elle is compassionate, smart and full of pep. “I love that Elle is so multi-dimensional beyond the glitz and glamor,” says Bonnett. “She is a cheerleader for all people, and her joy, tenacity and belief in herself continue to inspire me.”
When asked what Bonnett thinks resonates most with the audience about the show, Bonnett remarks, “It’s an underdog story and everyone can relate to an underdog story.” Then virtually channeling Elle’s own remarkable positivity, she adds, “It’s a beautiful reminder that if you truly believe in your dreams, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to!”
This positivity seems to extend beyond Bonnett’s character and into her real life. When asked to share some behind-the-scenes stories about what it’s like to be involved with a nationally-touring Broadway show, she had nothing but good things to tell. “I will say we have a lot of fun on the stage, but some of the most special moments are what happens in the wings. Everyone has little rituals with one another either before, at intermission or after the show. Those moments are what make this experience so special to me.” Bonnett also remarks, “I am so grateful to have the most hilarious co-actors (who double as amazing friends), so whether we are on or off the stage I find I am always laughing.”
Speaking of laughing, we asked what it is like to work with an animal actor and if there are any funny stories she could share about the pup playing Bruiser. Bonnett quickly responds, “Hazel is the absolute sweetest thing—such an easy dog and so friendly. I wish I could say I had funny stories, but she is so fabulous at her job that she really steals the show! A true professional!”
With the interview drawing to a close, Bonnett reflects on what it means to play Elle and quotes the last line of the show. “Elle says, ‘I thank you one and all. The ones who thought I’d fall. Who taught me how to fail. Who helped me to prevail.’ It’s an amazing acknowledgment at the end of the show to not only thank the audience for our time together but also a really beautiful gratitude moment for myself on how far I’ve come.”
She concludes, “We can’t wait to have you in the audience and make sure to wear your favorite pink outfit! Snaps!” She’s referring to The Lincoln Center’s Think Pink Contest where audience members rockin’ their pinkest pinks can get their photos taken in The Lincoln Center lobby for a chance to win prizes like signed cast posters, Bruiser memorabilia and more!
Tickets to Legally Blonde – The Musical March 9–11 are almost sold out! Get yours before they’re gone at LCtix.com or in The Lincoln Center Box Office.
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