For the first time in BU On Broadway‘s history, the theater group sold out two, almost three, performances of their spring show, Legally Blonde, and the main actress, Marisa Bingham, COM ’17, had never starred in a BU On Broadway (OB) production before.
“I had auditioned for a couple of things before and didn’t get in, but third time’s the charm,” said Bingham.
Her previous stage experience was limited to high school theater performances, but when she auditioned for the role of Elle Woods, the gap between her senior year of high school and senior year of college was unnoticeable.
“[When I pitched this show] I had no idea of anyone in mind who could be Elle,” said Izzy Weinberg, COM ’19, the director of the production. “Luckily, Marisa is absolutely amazing. No one else could ever play Elle Woods.”
Bingham wasn’t the only OB newcomer to headline in the show. Gabrielle Oates, COM ’18, starred as Pilar, one of Elle’s sorority sisters, which is a character that requires a high level of energy and enthusiasm to play.
“I had been in one musical before in my life,” said Oates. “I did that my sophomore year of high school, and the director was a grown adult in his 40’s.”
To Oates, the direction of OB feels more like a friendship in comparison to her other experience, making it easier for cast, crew and leadership to communicate with one another. Of the overall experience she said, “I wish I had done it sooner.”
Other newcomers included Hannah Clark, COM ’17, who played Kate, and Christy Osler, COM ’18, who was in the ensemble. Both of whom, similarly to Bingham and Oates, hadn’t starred in a theater production since high school.
“I was a little bit nervous at first because I was a little bit rusty,” said Clark. “I also sort of had the impression that the show would already be cast because they knew who would be auditioning.”
Weinberg cast a total of seven actors out of a 26 person cast that had never starred in an OB show before.
“I’m new. There’s a lot of other talented people. I don’t know if I should even audition,” said Osler about her thoughts before auditioning. “I auditioned, and I am so happy I got into the show because it’s so hard to even get into a show…I’ve loved learning the songs. I’ve loved learning the dances.”
The camaraderie among the cast and crew is clear, as they worked on the show for three months for three performances on April 6,7 and 8.
“I don’t see how anyone can come into this group and not have it be the best experience of the college career because it’s purely the best thing,” said Weinberg.