theater & dance
12:00 AM EST
July 18, 2012
There's still time to catch Elle Woods — the glamorous yet underestimated sorority girl who fights her way into Harvard — in the Beck Center for the Art's production of Legally Blonde: The Musical, running through Aug. 12. Caitlin Reilly, 27, who portrays Woods onstage, was in high school when the original movie hit theaters in 2001. "It was one of five movies I watched over and over," she says. "For women my age, Elle is a great character to connect to because she's feminine as well as smart."
Fashion Foul | Reilly wasn't always the girly girl audiences see during the performance. "Until college, I was in the dark about what to wear. I always wore my hair back in a ponytail and baseball cap."
Behind the Scenes | A full-time actor who's based in Philadelphia, Reilly has been crashing at her father-in-law's house in Oberlin since rehearsals for Legally Blonde: The Musical began in May. She's also doing double duty as an instructor in the Beck Center's Junior Theatre Camp for 7- to 12-year-olds.
A Rare Talent | A skill likely to elicit a dramatic, high-pitched gasp from Elle Woods herself, Reilly can burp on command. Local audiences got a listen when she played seven-months-pregnant Suzy in the Beck Center's The Marvelous Wonderettes.
Shhhh ... | Turns out that pink dresses, Prada shoes and tiny dogs in purses can reach a wider demographic than one might think. "It's been fun to see these men who say, 'Don't tell anyone, but I love that movie.' "