The curtain opens to reveal a two-story, pink sorority house — a giant Barbie Dream House, if you will.
The Delta Nus are ecstatic as they sing about their perky, blond sorority president and her impending engagement to her wealthy, Harvard-bound college sweetheart.
Omigod, you guys. It's Legally Blonde, the Musical.
The Clearwater High School production runs today and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each, $10 for students and children.
With a cast of 52, more than two dozen musical numbers, numerous set changes, a seven-piece orchestra and only 10 weeks to rehearse, the high-octane production has been quite an undertaking, said director Joy Roche.
"This show has more sets than we've ever dealt with," she said during a Monday night rehearsal as the production crew scrambled with some last-minute finishing touches.
Her 15-year-old stage manager, Kelsey Timpone, said she's been staying until midnight for the last week and a half.
"Time. There's never enough time," Kelsey said, before scurrying off to her next task.
Roche said the rehearsal schedules, although rigorous, were good for the students — and their grades.
"My son Michael is in the show and the busier he's gotten, the better his grades have become. This teaches the kids time management skills, team work, volunteerism. They make a commitment and have to follow through," she said.
She predicted audiences will love the show and students will take home a valuable message about self-discovery.
Just as in the popular 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Elle Woods is dumped by Warner Huntington III, who doesn't think the ditzy, chihuahua-toting blond with a passion for fashion is serious enough to marry.
So she hits the books, passes her LSATs and goes where no Delta Nu has gone before: Harvard Law School.
"Elle had her life planned out and it turned out completely different," Roche said. "She learned she was capable of much more than she thought. The message is to go for your dreams, even if they seem a little crazy."
Meghann Timberlake, 17, remembers watching the movie as a kid. Now, she's playing the role of Elle and is in every scene.
"I don't stop," she said. "It's a good amount of work."
Though she admires Elle's character, she said she's not like her at all.
"They asked me to bring in clothes that are pink. I didn't have any," she said. "But the color is growing on me."
She's studious, ambitious and plans to be a premed student at the University of Florida.
Josh Whedon, 18, plays Emmett, Elle's more mature love interest, whom she meets at Harvard.
Josh is planning to major in theater and said he's a lot like his character — focused on school and his future, but relaxed and easy-going.
"This is a great show about becoming the person you were always meant to be," he said.
Terri Bryce Reeves can be reached at email@example.com.