Archive of Ross Dairiki

Ross has written 8 article(s) for InMenlo.


Menlo-Atherton High School’s annual spring musical is Legally Blonde, starring Hanna Berggren as Elle Woods, a charming and enthusiastic California girl who attends UCLA. The show opens on Friday, March 15 and plays over two weekends.

Based on the book by Amanda Brown and the movie featuring Reese Witherspoon, the musical is a true underdog story in which Elle must charm her way into Harvard Law School in order to re-win the heart of her boyfriend, who broke-up with her because he wanted to start a serious life. Elle, of course, struggles with professors and peers, but is on a mission to prove herself to the world.

“Elle is not a two-dimensional character,” says Berggren. “She is a real person who is determined and loyal. It’s been a blast to play her so far!”

This will be Berggren’s sixth show at M-A. She has previously been cast in The Tempest and Once Upon a Mattress, to name a couple. This summer, she plans on auditioning for a musical as well as taking a variety of tap, jazz, and ballet classes. She is not sure what college she will be attending next year, but plans on majoring in musical theatre.

Along with Berggren, others featured in the musical include Josh Weiner as Emmett Forest, Thomas Johnson as Warner Huntington III, and Elinor Carter Walne as Paulette. the dog playing Bruiser is really named Bubbles.She belongs to the Kiani family whose daughter attends M-A.  “She’s a Shih Tzu and super lovey dovey,” says drama teacher Debra Zwicker-Sobrepena.

Berggren is most excited about “working with an amazing cast and crew and singing amazing songs from the musical!”

All tickets will be $8 for students and seniors and $12 for adults. Tickets can be purchased online or  bought at the door at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center (PAC). Show times are listed below:

– Friday, March 15 – 7:30 pm
– Saturday, March 16 – 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
– Wednesday, March 20 – 7:30
– Thursday, March 21 – 7:30
– Friday, March 22 – 7:30

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Grab Bag Theater alumni show set for Jan. 2

The Grab Bag Theater (GBT) is a local theater group known for hosting student productions, but this holiday season, they will be hosting an alumni show, featuring GBT “graduates” Hannah Rosenfeld, Dana Rust, Claire Jungleib, Zach Abt, and Margaret Ringler (the stage manager). Although this is not specifically a GBT production, the group is financially […]

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M-A annual canned food drive collects almost 70,000 cans and helps feed over 400 families in the community

Menlo-Atherton High School’s Canned Food Drive has officially ended, collecting a grand total of 69,779 cans, surpassing the goal of 65,000 cans. M-A students went “canning” for about a month, a process in which they stood at grocery stores around the community and asked people to purchase a few cans on their shopping trips. People […]

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Trick or treating starts early on the Menlo-Atherton High School campus

Last Thursday (10/25) Menlo-Atherton High School hosted its annual Trick-or-Treat Street. The event was filled with fun games, costume contests, music, and trick-or-treating for local children. Every year, the M-A Leadership class organizes Trick-or-Treat Street. Young children and their parents from around the community can come to M-A on this special night and trick-or-treat in […]

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Cardinal Education helps keep M-A football players competitive on the field – and in the classroom

For the past few seasons, the Menlo-Atherton High School football team has been performing extremely well, making it to the finals of their division last year. However, the players are not just performing well on the field, but in the classroom as well, partly because of a team-wide, pro-bono tutoring program instituted by a local […]

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Sydney Young interns at Citizens School in a program funded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Recent Menlo-Atherton High School graduate, Sydney Young, is interning this summer at Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization that works with middle-school children in low-income communities by expanding their education day. The internship is funded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. InMenlo: How did you hear about the program? Sydney: “I was really lucky. I […]

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Melodies for Charities entertains audiences while supporting local non-profits

Melodies for Charities is a local, Menlo-Atherton High School-based music club with a twist. When it plays, community nonprofits benefit. Since its founding in 2010, the group has raised over $2,200 for organizations, including Second Harvest Food Bank, My New Red Shoes, and the Red Cross. Founder Christina Takayama got the idea for the club […]

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M-A students raise over $1,500 at music and art fundraiser for Japan

Japan is still in a state of turmoil caused by the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear radiation threat. People from all over the world, even students and families in our community, are trying to help the nation recover. Earlier this month, two Menlo-Atherton High School students, to-be juniors Katie Holliday and Samantha Bloom, planned an event […]

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