as Elle Woods
The full cast of Legally Blonde has been revealed. Joining previously announced leading lady Laura Bell Bundy will be Christian Borle as unlikely love interest Emmett, Orfeh as manicurist friend Paulette, Richard H. Blake as prep ex Warner, Kate Shindle as rival Vivienne, Nikki Snelson as on-trial exercise guru Brooke and Tony Award winner Michael Rupert as Professor Callahan. Meet the stars of Legally Blonde in our exclusive Broadway.com video interview, part of our Going Blonde special section following the creation of this eagerly-anticipated new musical comedy.
As far as the canine cast of Legally Blonde, Chico will play Elle Woods' beloved chihuahua Bruiser, with Teddy acting as understudy. Paulette's bulldog Rufus. All of the dogs were found in shelters and are watched over by famed Broadway animal trainer William Berloni.
Christian Borle is currently in the final week of his well-reviewed turn as the Historian and Prince Herbert in the Broadway musical Spamalot, which earned him the Clarence Derwent Award as well as a Drama Desk nomination. Other Broadway credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie opposite new wife Sutton Foster, Amour, Footloose and Jesus Christ Superstar. Off-Broadway, he's appeared in Elegies: A Song Cycle and Prodigal. He's also appeared in international productions of West Side Story and The Who's Tommy and well as in a popular eBay commercial.
On Broadway, Orfeh is best known for originating the role of Annette in Saturday Night Fever, in which she did the hustle and sang "If I Can't Have You" and the disco hits of the Bee Gees for the show's entire 15-month run. She also appeared in the original Broadway companies of Footloose and The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm as well as in benefit performances of Dreamgirls and Hair. Off-Broadway, she played rock and roll icon Janis Joplin in Love, Janis and Pippi in The Great American Trailer Park Musical. TV appearances include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Sex and the City, Made and Chappelle's Show. Orfeh also appears in the upcoming feature film Across The Universe directed by Julie Taymor. Prior to her acting career, Orfeh landed a record deal with EMI Records as a teen, subsequently touring the world with her pop group Or-N-More, whose gold album and single "Everyotherday" was a hit both stateside and abroad. As Paulette in Legally Blonde, Orfeh will have the chance to work opposite husband Andy Karl, who plays Kyle, the hunky UPS guy.
Michael Rupert has been nominated for Tony Awards three times, winning in 1986 for Sweet Charity. His other nominations came for Falsettos and The Happy Time, which also won him a Theater World Award as a teenager. Other Broadway credits include Ragtime, City of Angels, Mail, Shakespeare's Cabaret and Pippin. Off-Broadway, he has appeared in Ancient History, Putting It Together, March of the Falsettos, Falsettoland and Elegies: A Song Cycle. His regional theater credits include Splitting Infinity, Adrift in Macao, A New Brain Helen Hayes nomination, Golden Boy, Don't Stop the Carnival, Carbonell nomination, The Merchant of Venice, Another Midsummer Night, Leonard Bernstein's Mass, Falsettos Ovation Award, Life x 3, Baby, The Diary of Anne Frank, Elegies Barrymore Award and Real Men. Michael is the composer of 3 Guys Naked From the Waist Down, for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award, Mail and the up-coming Streets of America. He also directed Thrill Me at the York Theater last season.
Kate Shindle was crowned Miss America in 1998 and turned her attention to Broadway soon after her reign was over. On Broadway, she's appeared as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde. Other New York credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Woman Upstairs as well as concert performances of Pippin, Children of Eden and The Secret Garden. Regional credits include After the Fall, The Last Five Years, Gypsy, The Mousetrap, Into the Woods and First Lady Suite. Shindle was also seen in the films Capote and The Stepford Wives.
Nikki Snelson is currently appearing as Violet Zipper in How to Save the World and Find True Love in 90 Minutes at off-Broadway's New World Stages. She recently appeared in the NYMF production of Have a Nice Life, which won an award for Best Ensemble Cast, and the Broadway revival of Sweet Charity. Also on Broadway, she played Winnie Tate in Annie Get Your Gun opposite Berndette Peters. National tours include Susan in Jonathon Larson's tick, tick...BOOM!, Showboat, Hello Dolly! with Carol Channing and Beauty and the Beast. She just returned from performing in the Asian premiere of tick,tick...BOOM! in Singapore. TV credits include Desperate Housewives, Reefer Madness, All My Children, The Young and the Restless and Guiding Light. She appears in Julie Taymor's upcoming film Across The Universe.
Also featured in the cast are Annaleigh Ashford who plays Elle's sorority sister Margot, April Berry, Paul Canaan, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Beth Curry, Tracy Jai Edwards, Amber Efe, Gaelen Gilliland, Jason Gillman, Becky Gulsvig, Rod Harrelson, Manuel Herrera, Andy Karl, Nick Kenkel, Michelle Kittrell, Leslie Kritzer sorority sister Serena, Dequina Moore sorority sister Pilar, Rusty Mowery, Kevin Pariseau, Matthew Risch, Jason Patrick Sands, Noah Weisberg, Kate Wetherhead and Donna Vivino.
At the helm of Legally Blonde is Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, who will make his Broadway directorial debut and also choreograph. Music and lyrics are by the married couple of Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book is by Heather Hach, based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM hit film comedy.
Legally Blonde is produced by Hal Luftig, Fox Theatricals and Dori Berinstein, in association with MGM Onstage, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber.
Legally Blonde is set to start performances on Broadway on April 3, 2007 with an opening set for April 29, 2007. Prior to Broadway, the musical will play at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre from January 23, 2007 through February 24, 2007.