Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Touring ‘Legally Blonde – The Musical’ Includes a Green Bay Touch

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When the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts hosts the touring production of “Legally Blonde The Musical” this week, extra cheers can be expected for one of cast members.

Kayla Jenerson, a graduate of Green Bay Preble High School, plays the role of Pilar and performs in the ensemble.

The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 29. Info: weidnercenter.com.

The setup for “Legally Blonde The Musical” is the leading character, Elle Woods, starts out as the ultimate blonde joke and winds up being the embodiment of empowerment for women. The show is a comedy with substance, which is why it is popular.

Elle Woods has a lot going for her and against her at the same time. She has run up a 4.0 grade-point average at UCLA, has supportive and well-off parents and is admired by a sea of friends. Elle also is in love.

The 4.0 is in fashion design, and clothes horse Elle is more interested in the latest in her color, pink (only). Keen on the girls just wanna have fun façade of Malibu, Elle is no Jackie Kennedy. And the love of Elle’s life wants a Jackie Kennedy, so he dumps her and heads off to Harvard Law to begin carving out a career he thinks can lead him to places, like Mount Rushmore.

Featured in the touring production as Elle Woods is Maris McCulley.

Pilar is one of Elle’s sorority sisters, a sassy and sensible one. Look for Kayla Jenerson as Pilar right away in Act I, Scene One.

At Preble, Jenerson “was always a very motivated student,” says Kevin Flogel, one of Jenerson’s teachers there. Flogel today general music/artistic director at Webster Elementary Children’s Center for the Integrated Arts in Allouez.

Jenerson went on to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and performed with The Wisconsin Singers.

Flogel says she was a student leader with that group and sang the National Anthem her senior year when President Obama came to Southwest (Green Bay Southwest High School). She was also recently in the national tour of ‘Motown,’ which I got to see in Chicago.

“Legally Blonde The Musical” show has been on tour to a wide range of cities. Following Friday’s performance at the Weidner Center, the tour heads to Milwaukee to play the Riverside Theatre on Saturday. Ahead are engagements in Ohio (Toledo), Iowa (Cedar Rapids and Sioux City) and California (Folsom, Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks).

Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays.

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