Actor dons pink for Theatre Under the Stars

Jocelyn Gauthier is Elle Woods in the Theatre Under the Stars production of Legally Blonde.   - Tim Matheson
Jocelyn Gauthier is Elle Woods in the Theatre Under the Stars production of Legally Blonde.
— image credit: Tim Matheson

Jocelyn Gauthier is best known locally as an instructor at Richmond Academy of Dance.

But this summer, the voice and musical theatre teacher is going all pink—starring as Elle Woods in the Theatre Under the Stars production of Legally Blonde: The Musical.

The non-profit theatre company, a Stanley Park institution since 1940, staged the show last summer. It was such a hit with audiences that TUTS brass brought it back.

It’s the story of a pretty-in-pink princess who follows her ex-boyfriend Warner to Harvard Law School in an effort to win him back.

Gauthier has experience with the lead role. In last year’s production she was the understudy, while also playing Chutney and a part in the high-energy ensemble.

“It’s a very humbling experience,” Gauthier said of her understudy role, “and I think it’s something that everybody should get to do because it keeps your brain sharp. You have to be ready at any time.”

Gauthier, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., is a Vancouver resident and University of B.C. acting grad. A performer since the age of seven, Gauthier is also classically trained in piano, flute and voice.

Legally Blonde opened on Broadway in 2007, years after the 2001 release of the popular like-named film starring Reese Witherspoon. The Broadway production enjoyed 538 performances before going on tour. And in its relatively short life, the musical has proven a hit with audiences for its music, colour and smart script that’s centered around a woman much deeper than her appearance lets on.

In her chase of Warner to Harvard, Elle, a sorority president, discovers how the law can help others, and puts her newfound skills to work as a defence lawyer in a murder trial. She’s a character audiences can relate to, said Gauthier.

“On the surface she’s your stereotypical dumb blond sorority girl. But she’s really not. In my research for the character, she actually gets a 175 on her LSAT (Law School Admission Test), which is actually a really good score. I looked it up,” said Gauthier. “She’s actually very pragmatic, she’s very savvy, and she’s very kind.”

Theatre Under the Stars

•Legally Blonde: The Musical, running alternating evenings with Shrek: The Musical July 11 to Aug. 23 at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park

•Tickets, $20 to $45, at 604-696-4295 or tuts.ca

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