Wednesday July 30th 2014

“Legally Blonde,The Musical”

Do blondes really have more fun? They do if they are Elle Woods.  Legally Blonde, the Musical is adapted from the highly successful movie and is the story of Elle Woods, a sorority sister rock star who is just graduating from UCLA with a degree in fashion merchandising. She is all about style, color (pink is her favorite), and her boyfriend, Warner, who is heading to Harvard Law School.  She expects her life to change quickly since Warner wants to get “serious”.  He does and dumps her; thinking he needs a Jackie not a Marilyn to be successful!  This triggers an immediate response from Elle, who doesn’t take no for an answer, and she decides to apply to Harvard Law School to win back Warner.  She is accepted, of course, and then the fun begins.  She discovers that law school is much harder than she expected, but she gets help from Emmett, the TA, who guides her through the law and helps her reach her potential.  In the end, she proves that being true to oneself never goes out of style. 

Nikki Bohne leads the energetic cast with a powerful voice and fine timing.  Her performance was greatly appreciated by the youthful audience who gave her a standing ovation.  She is strongly supported by Jillian Wallach who plays Paulette, the nutty beautician who swoons over Kyle the UPS driver, Michael Milton who plays Kyle, Nic Rouleau who plays Emmett, the TA that becomes more than a friend, Hannah Rose DeFlumeri who is Vivienne, Elle’s rival who discovers that a person can be beautiful and smart at the same time, Kahlil Joseph who instills fear in his students as Professor Callahan, Mathew Ragas as Warner, the untrue and wretched Warner, and Shannon Mullen who plays Broke, the physical fitness guru/murder suspect who truly does walk the walk.  In addition, Elle’s sorority sisters, Nadia Vynnytsky, Maggie Taylor, Brit West, and Nicole Brancucci provide great back-up vocals. 

The musical’s score is mediocre, many of the songs sound alike, but some of the lyrics are clever (particularly in “Ireland”). Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, the musical moves quickly and has some exceptional dance numbers, particularly a jump-rope scene that opens Act II, the Irish dance piece and the hip-hop dance number in Act I.

The production is nicely staged with clever sets, excellent lighting, tasteful costumes, and a wonderful orchestra led by Rob Cookman.  The Rosemont Theatre is cavernous, better suited for a rock concert, but the sightlines are clean and the seats are comfortable.  I felt the sound system was a little muddy and needed to be attenuated to better match the higher notes of a predominantly female cast.

This is a fun, feel good show that leaves a smile on your face and will be especially appreciated by the teens that are tuned into Elle’s pink to navy to pink color scheme and her quest for love. Moms and grandmas will also find the show enjoyable but parents should be warned that there are some sexually suggestive jokes and references in the script.

Legally Blonde the Musical is playing at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Road, Rosemont, IL.  Shows are:  Friday December3 at 8:00PM, Saturday December 4, at 2:00PM and 8:00PM, and Sunday December 5 at 2:00PM.  Tickets are $24.50-$59.50 and are available at Ticketmaster or the Rosemont Theatre box office.

This review was written by M.D. Horn, a contributor to around the town

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