July 24, 2008

Southern Belle becomes Broadway's Elle!

MTV's reality show search for a fresh face to play Elle Woods on Broadway has ended spectacularly! Hometown girl Bailey Hanks of Anderson is headlining Legally Blonde on Broadway after winning the part this spring. (The finale aired Monday, July 21st.) I have to say I have been rooting for her from week one and was over the moon to learn that she won!

Bailey's first show was a matinee yesterday, Wednesday the 23rd, and her reviews are trickling in. What's more - her first single on iTunes is a huge success on the charts and has caused a renewed interest in all things Legally Blonde.
For those of you who didn't DVR the musical when it aired on MTV and watch it ten thousand times, as I did, let me tell you that Ms. Hanks has big shoes to fill. Laura Bell Bundy (below) doesn't just have an adorable name - she is a triple-threat powerhouse of a leading lady. Tuesday's shows were her last with Legally Blonde, after 491 shows (8 a week!) since the show opened last spring. Laura Bell is now off to record another country album in Nashville. I expect big things from her in the very near future!

Bailey, in the meantime, may well be the happiest 20-year-old on Earth. The daughter of an Upstate pastor, she is a Westside High School graduate and former Coastal Carolina student. From the perfect hair and the pink VW Bug to the big voice and super-precise dance moves - Bailey's got it all.

For a taste of Bailey's personality and talents, take a peek at her Fox NY appearance this morning, where she performed "So Much Better", her skyrocketing single from the musical. See a few more pictures of her with Broadway's Bruiser and learn more about the competition here.

For those of you interested in what the three others (Lauren, Rhiannon and Autumn) in the competition's final round are up to, you can read more about their new Broadway roles here.

I hope I get a chance to see Bailey as Elle Woods myself! In the meantime, book your own trip and be proud of a Carolina girl. (And go listen to the music on iTunes - fight the urge to sing along!)


Anonymous said...

Gotta love it when SC gets press about something positive for a change!!! As long as they don't rehash too many airhead blonde jokes.

Kristen said...

If I don't get to see her on Broadway, I'll cry! GIRLS' TRIP?


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