Legally Blonde: The Musical
Book by Heather Hach
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin
Directed and Choreographed by Scott A. Cook
Musical Direction by David Foust
Starring Kristen Sheola, Sean Philibin, Michelle Boroughs and Ryan Mobley
Theatre Works Florida
Presented at The Garden Theatre, Winter Garden FL
There’s an awful lot of pink on this stage, and it seems to clutter up the sound. Either that or the sound guy was trying to drown out the music festival on the street in front of the theatre, but either way I fled to the very back corner of the room to escape the screechy opening numbers. While half way through the sound seemed to calm down a bit, never flattered the singers on stage which was a shame. OK, that’s off my chest, now on to some positives. I’ve never seen this as a movie (gasp!) but here’s the run down:
Barbie doll Elle Woods (Sheola) loses hunky BF Warner Huntington III (Mobley) to Harvard law school and his need for the more modest wife he’ll need to move into the US Senate by 30. Elle’s heartbroken but decides to fight back. Fashion fades to painful bookishness and she clears 175 on the LSAT and soon is in curmudgeonly professors Callahan’s (Todd Alan Long) Law 101. There Elle finds WH3 is dating snooty Vivienne Kensington (Stephanie Coatney), she’s got a knack for legal thinking, and another cute guy does exist in this universe. That’s Emmet Forrest (Philibin), who just needs some fashion advice from Elle to launch his career. Eventually Elle’s hairdresser Paulette (Boroughs) helps her crack a high profile case, and life is back to garishly pink wonderfulness.
Ms. Sheola is an excellent Barbie clone; I suspect she has a decent voice and hope to hear it someday. The guys on stage are all likeable enough, but except for Long’s brutal Callahan they are mostly eye candy. Long held this show together, his “Blood in the Water” was the highlight of the show, and Borough’s Paulette was no slouch in the hair arrangement department. There were some animals on stage and while they were crowd favorites and great marketing I’ll opine they were an unnecessary prop as well as a performance risk. Lastly, I congratulate James Back for his clever and versatile set; it compactly and neatly got all the locations into one excellent package and scene changes are quick and painless. I’m sure the sound can be fixed and this show becomes a crowd pleaser, but it must be fixed.
For more information on The Garden Theatre, please visit www.gardentheatre.org
For more information on Florida Theatre Works, please visit http://www.theatreworksfl.org/