#BehindtheCurtain: Get to Know Bethany Slomka

 In Blog, San Diego Broadway Shows

If you’re looking for a good pep talk or maybe the perfect metaphor about your favorite Celtic country, look no further than Paulette Buonofuonte, owner of the Hair Affair and Elle’s best friend in Legally Blonde! In SDMT’s production, we are so lucky to have Bethany Slomka bringing this iconic role to life. Bethany is a long time member of the SDMT family, having appeared in many of our productions over the course of her career, and it is an absolute joy to have her back for this show. Striking the perfect balance between Paulette’s sweet, sensitive nature and her bold, brassy confidence, Bethany brings both comedy and incredible nuance to this role. On top of that, her powerhouse vocals have garnered critical acclaim from countless theatre reviewers as she belts her way through numbers like “Ireland” and “Bend and Snap”. We truly can’t think of anyone better suited to portray this role, and it’s been a joy seeing Bethany’s Paulette shine on the SDMT Stage. This week, we had a chance to sit down with Bethany to get to know her a little more, and we can’t wait to share her answers to some of our burning questions! Keep reading below, and then be sure to purchase your tickets to come see Legally Blonde running until June 2nd on the SDMT Stage.

How long have you been performing/what inspired you to get into musical theatre?

I’ve been performing for what feels like my whole life. My great Aunt was the brilliant Marni Nixon, and so I think it has been in my blood from the jump. I grew up in a musical household where we all shared a love of singing and musicals. Throughout childhood, I participated in our church’s musicals and youth theater. At the age of 4, my grandparents took me to see the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera, which my parents were a touch worried about, and apparently I sat in my seat, engulfed in the story, the entire show. My mom says she would often catch me singing Disney songs in the mirror trying to make my voice shake to which I told her “Mommy, I know what I am doing – I am singing with vibrato!” Then around 7 or 8, my parents took me to see a production of Funny Girl and I was MESMERIZED by the woman who played Fanny Brice. I couldn’t get her performance out of my head and promptly asked my dad to buy me the CD. I remember feeling frozen in my seat as she sang, and I KNEW I HAD to do this for the rest of my life. I walked into my next voice lesson demanding that I work on the song “People” – to which my voice teacher at the time said “You are 8 and you do not understand what this song is about, but we can work on ‘Don’t Rain on my Parade’!” Which then I began to sing for every audition that I possibly could. I was hooked!

Photo by Jason Sullivan

If you could tell the audience anything about this show, what would it be? And does it have any special meaning to you?

I think that Legally Blonde reminds us ALL that we can NEVER judge a book by its cover and that there is space for ALL of us. Specifically as women, I think there has been a misconception that life is “her vs me” instead of “her AND me’. One of my favorite reminders is “HER SUCCESS IS NOT MY FAILURE,” and I think this is what Elle encompasses. She does not have to dim her light to make room for other people, instead she uses her light to ignite everyone’s light.

Photo by Jason Sullivan

If you had to pick, what is your favorite scene or number in the show?

Oh this is so hard! One answer right off the bat is ANYTIME there is a cute dog on stage! However, I have to say that I absolutely love “Bend & Snap”. It is so iconic to the movie and there is ALWAYS a response from the audience. But I also love the lesson and meaning in it. I also love that it is women empowering other women to OWN what they have to offer! Plus, it’s the first time I get to be on stage with a bunch of the other cast members, and I am amazed by them all!

Photo by Jason Sullivan

What is a dream role or dream show of yours? If you have a few, feel free to list them!

There are so many good roles, but if I have to list a few they would be Fanny in Funny Girl, Rose in Dogfight, Violet in Violet, Lucille in Parade, Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, and Bobby in Company!

If you were to surprise everyone and get a degree just like Elle does when she goes to Law School, what would you be going back to school to study?

This is an easy answer! I’d love to study interior design!

Photo by Jason Sullivan

Elle is accompanied almost everywhere by her four legged family member, Bruiser the Chihuahua! If you were to show up to Law School with a furry friend, who would you be taking with you? And whether you have a pet or not, feel free to be creative!

OUR FAMILY DOG MURPHY! He is a boxer and the sweetest pup in the world! Although I must say… I would LOVE to be Lilo and have my own Stitch!

Photo by Jason Sullivan

And finally, what have you found to be the most relatable aspect of your character?

Paulette is SO human. It’s why I love her so much. She is so special but has never had anyone see her the way Elle does. She has all of these dreams for herself but has always gotten in her own way and never believed she was worthy of those things coming to fruition. She didn’t need to change her appearance or shrink her personality, she just needed the confidence to KNOW her worth. What is more relatable than that?



Legally Blonde Creative Team:
Director and Choreographer: Xavier J. Bush
Music Director: Lyndon Pugeda
Assistant to the Director and Choreographer: Melissa Glasgow


CLICK HERE to buy tickets!


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