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'Legally Blonde' musical comes to ASU Gammage


September 17, 2009

Lauren Ashley Zakrin got the biggest role of her life via an MTV reality television show. Zakrin, the understudy for the leading role in the touring Broadway hit musical “Legally Blonde,” which comes to the ASU Gammage stage Sept. 22-27, was among the three finalists selected for the starring role in the reality series, “The Search for Elle Woods.”

The then Western Michigan University sophomore took a leap of faith for the role of a lifetime that not only led her to a career in theater and a national Broadway tour, but also a deeper understanding of the character she plays: Elle Woods.

“An ‘Elle’ of a show,” says one reviewer from Time magazine about the musical that follows Elle’s adventures from sorority elite to legal eagle when her boyfriend dumps her for someone more “serious.” The underestimated blonde aims to prove everyone wrong when she sets out to go where no Delta Nu has gone before: Harvard Law. Leaving the familiar, comfortable confines of her Los Angeles sorority house to embark on a rigorous, highly competitive law program in Boston carries all the ambition and excitement as Zakrin’s experience did in pursuing her own dream.

“It was kind of terrifying,” Zakrin says of her television audition. “At 18, I was doing it for the job, not the opportunity to be on a reality TV show. Auditioning and putting myself out there in front of critics, let alone a television audience, was difficult but it got my foot in the door.”

A musical offshoot from the original 2001 film, “Legally Blonde” has played to sold-out audiences across the country. The show features a lot of singing, dancing and plenty of “Elle” style.

“The show is almost exactly like the film, with the same scenes and story line,” Zakrin says. “The only differences are the added music and flashing lights.”

Zakrin says she is fortunate for the theater experience and to be telling the story of such a likable character such as Elle Woods. As for future theater plans, she is still figuring out her next move.

“My life has a funny way of pointing myself in the right direction,” she says.

Evening and a few matinee performances of “Legally Blonde” are scheduled for Sept. 22-27 at Gammage Auditorium on the Tempe campus.

For more information about the show or to purchase tickets, visit the Web site asugammage.com.