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Possible Change for Waldorf’s Spring Musical

By: Maggie Kretzmann

As the school year draws closer and closer to end, the Waldorf theatre schedule normally always ends with its annual springtime musical. Students were memorizing music and monologues for the audition process for Rent. All was going well until it happened.

Due to it being 20 years since Rent first opened on Broadway, two more dates were added in Iowa for Rent, which means that Waldorf doesn’t have approval for doing the show. “We’re frustrated and stressed,” said Marla Britton-Johnson, the musical director at Waldorf. “We had to come up with a backup plan which is just as exciting as Rent. We spent a good three-four hours finding a backup plan.” That backup plan would be Legally Blonde: The Musical. This musical is more women-heavy cast-wise, and also requires a larger cast compared to Rent. “It’s just as recognizable, [but it’s] just less iconic,” Britton-Johnson said.

The musical Rent follows the lives’ of people living in New York during the late 1980s to the early 1990s as they experience drugs, sexuality and the ongoing AIDS disease; whereas, Legally Blonde: The Musical is based on the 2001 movie, with the same name, that starred Reese Witherspoon, which shows that not all blondes are “airheads.” “I’m trying to stay positive about it,” said Jenni Martin, who’s involved with the theatre department. “This whole thing sucks, but it’s out of our control, so I think we’re trying to do our best.”

When asked about the possible musical change, senior Bailey Gare said, “Honestly I’ve never seen Rent, but I know it has good music, which I was excited about, because I love to sing. But, at the same time I feel like for this town, it was a little controversial.” When Gare heard that Legally Blonde might be happening instead she said, “A lot of people think I’m crazy but I love Legally Blonde. It makes me excited, and it’s peppy and happy. I like the music in it, and there’s a lot of parts for girls, which I think is really nice, too. It gives more opportunities, since parts for girls are normally more competitive.”

Whatever ends up happening, those planning to audition are prepared for what ends up being the final decision. “The students here in the department are still excited about whatever comes; and, while we’re disappointed about not being able to do Rent, that doesn’t mean we won’t do Rent at all. If we don’t do Rent this year, we will be doing it in two years at the opening at the new theatre,” Britton-Johnson said.