Beloved blonde lawyer debuts in Burlington

New England’s largest community theater company is going pink this spring.

Lyric Theatre Company will be performing “Legally Blonde: The Musical” April 9-12, putting on five shows on the main stage at the Flynn Center for Performing Arts. Lyric was founded in Burlington 1973, according to their website. Since then, they have attracted many UVM actors, singers and dancers.

Promotions and Special Events Director Wendy Mays said seven of the 40 cast members in “Legally Blonde” are UVM students. Lyric is completely volunteer-based, aside from the professional orchestra, junior Kyla Paul said.  “Everyone is a volunteer,” she said. “Crew, artistic team, cast, everyone.” 

Even the show’s director, Andrea Cronan, is a volunteer. Cronan said she has been involved with Lyric since 1995. Cronan said that her first Lyric show was “The Music Man.” “From there I became a die-hard Lyric member,” she said. Cronan said she wanted to put on “Legally Blonde” partly because the show has many roles for women, and not just frivolous ones.

Hannah Marshall, who plays the lead role of Elle Woods, said Elle isn’t ever just the “dumb blonde.” “She’s never the dumb blonde, even in the very beginning,” Marshall said. “She’s smart, smart enough to get into Harvard Law School, and she’s really strong and she finds herself throughout the show.”

“[Elle] is just somebody who wants to be taken seriously,” senior Emily Evans said. “She’s somebody who proves that she’s more than how she looks and I think a lot of people can relate to that,” she said. 

The show features many archetypes alongside the “dumb blonde.”  Junior Kaitie Bessette plays a stereotypical nerd in the show.   

 

“That’s what the show is about — putting a stereotype on someone and then working past it and realizing it doesn’t matter,” she said.

 

Cronan said she took some time off from Lyric because being in a production is a big time commitment, but now finds herself committing even more time as the director. “It’s hard because I do have a full-time job and a 16-year-old and a husband, but you love it, you know, and that’s what community theater is about,” she said.

Graduate student Sabrina Sydnor said it can be difficult to join a Lyric show because it is such a big time commitment, especially for a student. “Sometimes I’m reading journal articles in between scenes,” Sydnor said. “I just try to get my homework done whenever I can,” she said. 

Thanks to the hard work, Cronan said the only thing missing is an audience.