‘Omigod You Guys’: Legally Blonde comes to Old Colony

Jan 9, 2024

ROCHESTER — According to Bea Ashley, Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Theater Company “is not just some small-town drama club.”

“We are Old Colony Theater Company,” she said. “We have talent. We can do things.”

Ashley, 17, is the company’s president and plays Elle Woods in the school’s upcoming production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical.”

The show follows Elle Woods, a member of Delta Nu Sorority who tries to win back her boyfriend by enrolling at Harvard Law School. Along the way, Woods finds out that she has an aptitude for practicing law and uses her knowledge to help others.

Ashley said that she “feels” Woods’ story and journey.

“She goes through a lot,” she said. “It’s a tough character to play with all the emotions that she has to deal with.”

Co-Director Brienne Riccio, who also teaches English at Old Colony, said the show is about “female empowerment.”

“We have a fish out of water story where someone who is deemed ‘Malibu Barbie’ … finds that she is more than just her blonde hair … She has a mind and wants to use it,” said Riccio. “And she finds some love and friendship that is genuine along the way.”

The show is also co-directed by Old Colony math teacher Ryan Lewis.

The cast is “a family,” according to Ashley

“It’s just amazing to get to work with some of these people,” she said. “We’re all very nice, supportive and actually care about each other. You don’t always see that in shows and drama departments.”

And that family extends off the stage and includes other school departments, like the Old Colony graphics department, which made the show’s flier and other props that will appear on stage, said Riccio.

“We have definitely bothered them a lot this year,” Riccio said.

“Everyone around has been so great helping us because this is a very small community,” said Riccio, who taught at New Bedford High School before coming to Old Colony. “It’s great because we can run to the carpentry department or the machine and tool department and [ask for help].”

But one challenge is that the school does not have an arts department and many of the students involved in “Legally Blonde” may not have had music classes since middle school, if at all. Even so, the cast of “Legally Blonde” has risen to the challenge, Riccio said.

“These kids are so young and pick up things so quickly,” said Riccio. “Where I thought that would be a challenge, they are able to do it.”

Some students, like 16-year-old Alexander Quin, a member of the supporting cast in “Legally Blonde” who was also a competitive dancer growing up, come to the show with outside experience.

But one new experience Riccio hopes to give to students is the opportunity to work behind the scenes learning about sound and lights, painting sets and organizing costumes.

“The tech crew really did pull together these props and these costumes,” said Quin.

“In addition to this, they go to school all day and they have other extracurriculars that they do,” said Riccio. “They need to be commended on the fact that they fit this into their very busy schedules … they juggle so much I’m so proud of them, it’s not easy.”

See “Legally Blonde: The Musical” at Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School on Friday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; or on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 1 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $7 for children.