Appearing Locally(AL) recently sat down with Steve Pearson(SP) from Pinewood Bowl, Inc. and show director/choreographer Courtney Piccoli (CP) to ask about their 69th Annual Summer Production, “Legally Blonde.”
AL: Tell us about your venue.
SP: Pinewood Bowl is a beautiful outdoor amphitheater located inside Lincoln’s Pioneers Park built in 1947. We began doing musicals in 1949. It’s open, family friendly, and we bring in food vendors so when we open the gates at 5:30pm, hundreds of families arrive with blankets and lawn chairs and picnic before the show.
AL: So there is no seating at the Bowl?
SP: There is no permanent seating at the Bowl. The Parks & Rec Department bring out 100 or so park benches, but the majority of our audience bring their own lawn or bag chairs, or blankets. We do have a dedicated blanket only section closest to the stage.
AL: Why did you choose to bring this play to the area?
SP: We are a community theater that produces high quality shows – we like to say that we are pre-professional – and we choose our shows to appeal to broad audiences and have the potential for the spectacular. This summer’s production of “Legally Blonde” follows Elle Woods and is based on the novel and the hit movie. It features some really amazing musical numbers, incredible choreography, and lots of laughs. Plus it features themes of girl power, empowerment, and being true to your self – messages we feel very strongly about.
AL: Share a story about something funny that happened during the rehearsal period.
CP: The funniest thing that’s happened is when I told them that the whole cast was going to be in the tap number and they thought I was joking… I was not!
AL: Steve, what is your role in this production?
SP: I am playing Mr. Woods, Elle’s father, and I am also the Marketing Producer for this year’s production.
AL: Talk about the people that made this work of art possible –collaborators, community outreach.
SP: There are so many people to thank! Our staff, our cast, our board, our sponsors, our concessions vendors, our individual donors, and our audiences that come out year after year to support the Pinewood Bowl Summer Musical.
AL: Tell us about the cast members?
CP: We have 34 in our cast. About 1/3 are new to Pinewood. They are extremely talented and hardworking and a fun group of people!
SP: We do have a great cast, a lot of Pinewood Bowl veterans, but a lot of people making their Pinewood Bowl debut. We have a deep bench. The entire cast is talented. When you are doing “Legally Blonde,” you have to mention your Elle Woods. Carly Ann Moore is a Lincoln native, graduating from Pius X and she is a Pinewood alum, appearing in a supporting role in “Hairspray” and “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” several years back. She has returned to us this summer after studying musical theatre at Oklahoma City University. OCU is a hotbed for musical theatre, and we are lucky to have her sharing her talents with us in her hometown.
AL: Is this show kid-friendly?
CP: I would say it’s a PG rating for some mild language and adult themes.
SP: Pinewood Bowl, Inc., strives to serve a broad local audience. The last two years we have done shows targeted specifically at families with young children, but that were quality pieces that had appeal to adult audiences as well. Most theaters are able to serve different audiences over the course of a single season. Since our season is one show, we have to serve our audiences year to year. “Legally Blonde”, I would say has an older target audience most definitely. If you are considering whether to bring children, that is a decision we leave to the parents. If you wouldn’t typically allow your child to attend a non-violent PG movie, then perhaps this isn’t a show you will feel comfortable with. That said, I don’t think there is any language in the show that could not run on network or basic cable TV. We encourage parents to do their own research. The overriding message of “Legally Blonde” is positive: though Elle is accustomed to relying on her appearance, she ultimately gains her success by hard work and studying and I think gains her own self-respect. We see her on both sides of that journey. Next year, we will return our focus more squarely on families with young children.
AL: What can the audience expect?
CP: Entertainment on a grand scale! In my opinion, the most professional community production around.
SP: “Legally Blonde” is a rarity in that it is a primarily sung-through score, with very limited scenes of dialogue. When there is dialogue, most of the time it is underscored within a song. The show is constantly in motion. The action doesn’t even stop for scene changes. The score is high-energy, contemporary, Broadway, pop. There will be a lot of dancing, a lot of energy, and a lot of pink! We like to do big shows that lend themselves to the size of the Pinewood stage. This show delivers on that front.
“Legally Blonde” is rated PG-13 and plays July 12-15 and 19-22. The gates open at 5:30 pm and the show begins at 8:00 pm. Tickets are available nightly at the gate or online at their website http://www.pinewoodbowl.org. There are also discounted tickets available at all Lincoln area Russ’s Market Stores. Parking is free. There are food trucks and concessions available at the shows, or theatre goers can bring in their own food and non-alcoholic drinks.
All tickets are general admission and all sales are final. There are no refunds for inclement weather.
Advance tickets at Russ’s:
Adults (age 13 or older): $12 with a Russ’s Community Rewards card, $13 without.
Kids (age 5-12): $5 with/without card
Online tickets prices:
Adults $13 + $1.65 fee
Kids $5 + $1.25 fee
At the Gate:
Kids age 4 and younger are FREE!