Harvard-bound Elle Woods and her cuddly chihuahua will take center stage next week at Hayes High School.

Harvard-bound Elle Woods and her cuddly chihuahua will take center stage next week at Hayes High School.

The drama department at the high school will present Legally Blonde: The Musical at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 3-5, with a matinee at 2 p.m. May 5.

The musical is based on the 2001 romantic comedy about a sorority girl who applies to Harvard in order to prove to an ex-boyfriend that she is serious about life.

Michelle Howes, Hayes English teacher and drama director, said the musical has the same characters, plot and surprises featured in the movie.

"The script is right-on with the movie," she said. "The difference is that the musical adds lots of dancing and singing."

Everyone who auditioned was given a role, and the actors couldn't be more excited about the show, Howes said. The 45-person cast and two live dogs all are on stage more than half of the time.

"This is the first contemporary musical we have done in four years," she said. "We had students audition that haven't auditioned for anything in the past."

Susan Thomson, 18, will be featured in the lead role of Elle Woods. She said this is her third musical at Hayes.

"This is my dream role," she said. "I would like to think I'm a lot like her. She's very happy, enthusiastic and sings a lot."

Thomson said everyone in the show has been encouraging and she believes the musical has more energy than other shows she's been in.

"It's very fast and upbeat," she said. "There's never a dull moment and we will keep the audience laughing the whole time."

Lizzie Jackson, 17, who plays Elle's ditzy sidekick, echoed Thomson's remarks and added it's been hard for her to not laugh during rehearsals.

"It's difficult to keep a straight face when you see all the directors laughing," she said. "People will be surprised how comedic this show is."

The students said although it is typical with stage plays to have lighting blackouts between scene changes, this show has none, which keeps the show moving quickly.

Stage manager Klaire Brezinski, 17, said the show requires careful coordination from the whole cast. She said although the show is modern and energetic, it has a strong message for the audience.

"You learn a really good lesson in this show and it's also just a lot of fun to watch," she said.

Jackson said there is a lot of dancing, smiling and having fun.

"This is going to be great," she said. "I'm really looking forward to sharing this with the community."

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. They can be purchased in the Hayes High School commons. For more information, call 740-833-1010.