POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Pound Ridge’s Vann Strasen realized he wanted to be a performer when he was 4 years old.
“I always like to squiggle around when there was music playing,” said Strasen, 13, a seventh-grade student at Rippowan Cisque School in Bedford. “I really liked to dance.”
When he was 4, he landed a part in Random Farms Kids’ Theater production of “The Sound of Music,” as Kurt, the youngest of the Von Trapp children.
“I loved the singing, but I really don’t remember much about it other than I wanted to do it again,” he said.
Strasen has been doing it again and again since then as a member of Random Farms Kids’ Theater (RFKT).
RFKT has been staging its productions at theaters throughout Westchester County. Its members come from all over Westchester and Putnam counties, New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut, and range in age from kindergarten through college. RFKT has been the resident children's theater at The Tarrytown Music Hall since 2006.
It is the Tarrytown Music Hall where Strasen will be co-starring in Random Farm’s production of the musical, “Legally Blonde,” Jan. 26 through Feb. 3.
"Legally Blonde," originally a blockbuster movie starring Reese Witherspoon, became a Broadway hit in 2007 and was nominated for seven Tony Awards. More than 130 young people from RFKT will take to the stage in four different casts to bring the musical to life.
“I liked the (original) movie – I thought it was good,” Strasen said. “But I think the musical is better – it has comedy and music.
Strasen plays three different roles in “Legally Blonde,” including the father of the lead character Elle.
“I play Elle’s dad, which is kind of weird because she’s 18 and I’m 13,” he said with a laugh. “I have a lot of wardrobe changes, which is probably more challenging (than the singing and dancing).”
Another RFKT project that Strasen is involved with is the group’s original play, “The New Kid.” It’s a musical with an anti-bullying message that’s available for private bookings for school districts for grades two through eight. The group just performed it on Long Island and has a production scheduled for Yorktown in March.
Strasen said the show has really resonated with its young audience and he’s happy to be a part of the anti-bullying campaign.
“It’s amazing, but it’s sad,” he said. “But to know that I’m making a difference is huge. The show interests kids with its humor and they can relate to the message.”
Strasen cites Johnny Depp as his favorite actor and source of inspiration, but said that while he’d like a career in show biz, he’ll probably avoid the movies.
“I’m a little camera shy,” he said. “But I would love to do Broadway theater.”
Tickets for "Legally Blonde" are $18 for adults, $16 for students and seniors, and $14 for groups of 20 or more. Premium seats (first four rows of center orchestra) are $23. To reserve tickets, go to the Tarrytown Music Hall's website or call TicketForce at 877-840-0457. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information, visit the theater’s website. The theater is located at 13 Main St. in Tarrytown.