A Bayside resident and Hofstra University student is ready to hit the stage in his newest role in “Legally Blonde – The Musical.”
Hofstra senior Sam Kaufman is currently starring as Professor Callahan in his college’s production of the award-nominated Broadway show. The show follows sorority girl Elle Woods, who enrolls in Harvard Law to win back the affections of her ex-boyfriend. Through her struggles with peers, professors and her ex, the protagonist learns her true potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.
The first performance of the show was on Friday, Oct. 25. Additional performances will be on Friday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m.
Kaufman started his performing career doing commercials when he was 2 and 3 years old. He went to a performing arts high school, where he appeared in productions of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Ragtime,” as well as other shows in summer camp.
“And I’ve continued to perform up until now, my senior year of college,” said Kaufman, who has appeared in shows like “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Hamlet,” “Hair” and “The Dream of a Common Language.”
In his latest role, he plays Professor Callahan, a professor at Harvard Law and one of the show’s main antagonists.
“Professor Callahan is a very imposing character. He holds a lot of power. He’s the law professor at Harvard University [and] he takes a lot of pride in it. He’s maybe not the nicest guy or the most morally right but he knows what the law is and what he can get out of it,” Kaufman said.
To prepare for the role, Kaufman told QNS that he approached playing Professor Callahan like any character he would play.
“I just saw the areas in which I could connect to him and just enjoy playing him,” he said.
Auditions for the show began at the end of his junior year, where students were asked to prepare a comedic, contemporary monologue and a 32-bar cut of musical theater song. Kaufman recalls auditioning with “All I Care About is Love” from “Chicago.”
“Then callbacks were a week or so later. Then a week or so after callbacks, we did a dance call for some parts, like Professor Callahan,” he shared.
When the school’s Department of Drama and Dance put up the cast list, he saw that he got the part.
“I am very excited. Musicals are always a lot of fun,” Kaufman told QNS. “The last one I was in was ‘Hair’ about two years ago, but this one is really just a fun time for the whole family. It’s a great energy and I really can’t wait to do it tonight.”
He added, “The cast of the show has worked so incredibly hard, especially Camryn who’s playing Elle Woods. She is doing an outstanding job and I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that.”
Kaufman, who majors in performance with a minor in musical theater, said that he intends to pursue acting after graduating. He considers himself “pretty well-versed” in both film and theater and plans to “travel between both worlds.”
“It’s just so fun to get a part, memorize the lines and get a reaction. Just find the fun of it, even if you have a part with two lines. I’ve had parts with two or three lines at Hofstra and I just find a way to have fun with it and really just enjoy every minute on stage. It’s really just an incredible experience for me,” Kaufman said.
“Legally Blonde – The Musical” is currently playing at Hofstra’s Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. Tickets are $10 or $8 for seniors 65 and older. Members of the Hofstra community are eligible for two free tickets with a current HofstraCard.
For tickets and information, call the Hofstra Box Office at 516-463-6644 or purchase tickets online at www.hofstratickets.com. If seats are still available on the day of the performance, tickets will be sold at the door beginning 90 minutes prior to showtime.
Free tickets for members of the Hofstra community must be picked up at the box office; they are not available online.