S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Legally Blonde: The Musical

It began with a boisterous group of women, overmiked into incomprehensibility, reitering the opening scene of the movie, but in music. It wasn't a great start, and so it took me a while to warm to Legally Blonde: The Musical, the story of a really smart blonde woman who discovers her more consciously intellectual side by means of following an ex-boyfriend off to Harvard Law School by applying - and getting in. It was doing better by the time it got to the Harvard application scene, using an approach which was well-suited to the format of a musical, if not reality. Elle got better too, the less she was visually bound by echoing the movie.

But by the time Paulette, the hairdresser, sang her rousing, self-parodying anthem "Ireland", I was won over. It's the best song in the musical. It's really funny, it knows it's ridiculous, but it's ridiculous in such an appealing way. I had no idea that Paulette would be my favorite character in this version of the story.

The actor singing Callahan had the other strongest voice in the show, although he - like so many characters - were notably one-dimensional. The second act's opening was also striking - it's designed to disorient the audience by giving it a musical number with no immediate referents to what's gone before. But the second act seemed a little more rushed than I would have liked, especially the ending. Still, for days afterward, "Gay or European" - a song the courtroom audience sings about the accursed murderer's pool boy - kept drifting through my head.

The audience most loved the two dogs which appear in this show, gushing whenever they appear, - and they don't even appear all that often. They were the only actors we saw as we left the theater afterwards, actually, the little one tucked up in the arm of the minder walking the larger one home on a leash.

In sum: I'm really glad I've seen this musical, but it's not an essential one to see. But some of the songs are really quite good.
Tags: musicals

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