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Bend and snap! Port Moody Secondary goes pink for 'Legally Blonde'

Elle Woods comes to life in Port Moody Secondary's spring musical of "Legally Blonde." Students Maryam Niaz and Kyan Ho are double cast in the lead role made famous by Reese Witherspoon in the 2001 movie.

It was a dream come true when Port Moody Secondary students Maryam Niaz and Kyan Ho were both picked to play Elle Woods in the school’s spring musical of Legally Blonde.

For Niaz, a Grade 12 student, her last stage production was at Citadel Middle where she portrayed the villain Jafar in Aladdin.

She loved performing so much that the IB student auditioned again for her final year of high school.

“I thought I would try out one more time just for fun,” she told the Tri-City News.

“And I was so shocked to get the lead.”

For Ho, who is in Grade 11, winning the double-casted part of Elle was déjà vu.

In 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the dance student was selected by her program, Mellado Dance Elite, as Elle for its show.

“This [school] experience has almost made up for that,” she said.

From May 24 to 26 and May 30, June 1 and 2, the pair will each lead three shows at Port Moody Secondary (300 Albert St.) along with a different cast of 12 student–actors.

Teacher Jesse Meredith is the director while Grade 12 student Maria Kapitanenk is the choreographer.

“We needed something uplifting and positive after the past couple of years that we had,” Meredith said when asked why Legally Blonde was chosen.

“We wanted a musical the students could connect to and something to bring people into our theatre.”

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the 2001 blockbuster film starring Reese Witherspoon, with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, Legally Blonde follows the perky Elle and her sorority sisters as they mourn the loss of Elle’s boyfriend, Warner, who dumps her and leaves California to study at Harvard Law School.

Determined to win him back, the fashion-conscious Elle also enrols in the Boston institution and proves she’s no dummy by successfully defending an exercise maven charged with murder.

A total of 40 students are in the crew to mount the Port Moody Secondary musical, an extra-curricular program.

Meanwhile, Meredith said the school already has 75 students signed up for Musical Theatre 11/12 in September — a course he’s helped to establish at the school.

For tickets at $10, go to the School Cash Online system (register as a guest).