Back in 2001, Reese Witherspoon starred in the leading role of a film called Legally Blonde, based on the novel by Amanda Brown. In 2007, Legally Blonde The Musical premiered in San Francisco with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin, with book by Heather Hach. Stage West Theatre is putting on Legally Blonde The Musical with a full talented cast who sing and dance and it is all tied with a giant pink bow, but the production captures the charm of the film, with the added flair of musiccal number. It’s fluff, but it’s a lot of fun and laughs.
Elle Woods (Bracken Burns) is totally psyched because she suspects that her boyfriend Warner Huntington (Gaelan Beatty) is going to propose. Things don’t really go according to plan because Warner wants to get serious and Elle is not what he would call serious. So Elle gets into Harvard Law (what, like it’s hard?) to convince Warner that they belong together. She soon starts to get into her classes, especially her professor Callahan’s (Patrick R. Brown) class. She starts to get to know her classmates Enid (Lili Connor), Sandeep Padamadan (Nicko Giannakos) and most importantly Emmett Forrest (Daniel Greenberg). Elle’s heart takes another blow when Warner starts dating Vivienne Kensington (Laura Tremblay) even though she has found a lot of support in Paulette Bonafonte (Daphne Moens) at the local hair salon and has a whole team of supportive friends from Malibu (who make an appearance in her head, which we are privy to). Elle winds up getting the alibi of Brooke Taylor (Amanda Struthmann) whose case the team is working on, when the others cannot. Legally Blonde is a production with a big cast who switch off for different roles and are all really strong singers.
It is all crafted on a stage designed by JP Thibodeau with door like structures that line the stage. Thibodeau’s lighting design matches the music and adds a nice flair to the production. Leslie Robison-Greene did the costume design and there are a lot, while Norman Galenza-Macdonald did the wig design and was head of wardrobe. This is the kind of production that needs smart and snazzy costume design as there is a certain focus on fashion.
Legally Blonde is smart and funny. The music and songs are catchy and fun, most especially ‘ohmigod you guys.’ Director Liz Gilroy has made the most out of every character, playing up the laughs for the ‘bend and snap’ song as well as Paulette’s UPS delivery man Kyle (a very toned Reece Rowat). It’s a feel good musical, with a live band to complete the package.
Stage West’s presentation of Legally Blonde The Musical runs until June 24th. More information is available online.
Photo Credit: John Watson Photography