America’s beloved blonde law student takes the stage at Northwestern’s Wirtz Center


Northwestern University’s Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts presents “Legally Blonde: The Musical” Feb. 14 to March 1.

Elle Woods, Bel Air’s favorite pink-clad blonde, and her equally stylish Chihuahua, Bruiser seem to have it all until Elle’s boyfriend dumps her to attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle charms her way into law school, then discovers she has far more legal savvy than she ever imagined. 

Based on the popular 2001 movie, this musical comedy with book by Heather Hatch and music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin is directed and choreographed by Christopher Chase Carter.

“‘Legally Blonde’ is just as relevant today because it is all about breaking down stereotypes,” said Chase Carter, known to Chicago audiences for his recent directing work for Theo Ubique Cabaret’s production of “Working” and choreography for Porchlight Musical Theatre’s production of “A Chorus Line.”

Chase Carter even believes Elle’s signature color “pink” is about breaking down stereotypes.  “For many people, pink is seen as soft, or for girls, but in this show, pink makes a statement,” Chase Carter said. “It’s power, it’s vibrant and bold, and it’s a symbol for breaking down stereotypes.” 

In addition to plenty of pink, this production includes two campus canines: Atty, who plays Bruiser, Elle’s stylish Chihuahua and Shlomo, who plays Rufus, Elle’s manicurist and confidant’s dog. Bruiser’s pet parent is Caleb Whittaker, a Northwestern student, and Rufus’ pet parent is China Whitmire, house manager for the Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts.

“It’s always interesting working with animals,” Chase Carter said. “You can’t always communicate 100 percent of what you want them to do.” Despite the communication challenges, Chase Carter knows the canines add something very special to the cast. “Bruiser is Elle’s dearest friend, he serves as an important support system for her,” Chase Carter said.

“Legally Blonde: The Musical” opens Valentine’s Day, Fri., Feb. 14 and continues performances through March 1 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, on the Evanston campus.

Tickets are available now on the Wirtz Center website, by phone at 847-491-7282 or in-person at the Wirtz Center box office, which is located in the lobby of the Ethel M. Barber Theater.

Box office hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. The box office is closed Sundays and Mondays. 

The Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts annually mounts more than 40 productions in theater, music theater and dance. Undergraduate actors, managers and playwrights, alongside graduate actors, designers, directors and dramaturgs, collaborate on works both classic and contemporary for audiences of all ages. The Center adheres to and reflects the academic mission of the University, the curricular needs of the theater and performance studies departments and the educational priorities of communication students. It exists in service to the campus and the greater community of the Metropolitan Chicago area.

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