Saturday, October 23, 2010

Legally Blonde, the Musical

Cutesy LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL entertains once again at Palace

Some shows are just meant to be entertaining…no great message, no deep thoughts, nothing but fluff. LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL, is such a script.

The musical, like the movie on which it is based, centers on Elle Woods, a blonde, seemingly ditsy California wealthy sorority girl whose fashion sense far exceeds her common sense. When Warner, her boyfriend, dumps her for someone who is 'serious,” Elle goes into action, and gets admitted to Harvard Law School (that's where Warner is enrolled). Her eventual success, both in the classroom and the court room, are foregone conclusions. The lightweight plot takes us on her journey from bimbo to valedictorian.

The show has a Cleveland connection in that Gina Vernaci, the Vice President of Theatricals for Playhouse Square, was involved in the evolution of the original production. In addition, a group of ten local women partnered together to invest in LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL. They attended the Broadway opening of the show.

The touring production is nicely paced. The choreography is good. The sets and costumes are adequate.

The cast, which is mainly main up of young professional actors with touring company and college theatre credits, is not up to the level of the company that came through two years ago, but they are adequate. As Alex, my fifteen year old grandson, a member of the “kid reviewer corps” that I take to shows to get a teen/tween view of shows that advertise that they are “kid friendly” said, “The voices were good, the acting was okay, the plot was slight.” He went on to say the show was cute, and agreed that the standard Cleveland standing ovation at the end of the show, was “a bit much” considering the quality of the production.

The real star of the show, at least based on the amount of applause it received, was Bruiser, the Chihuahua. Unfortunately, the live bulldog which also usually appears in the show was substituted for with a stuffed animal. That kind of indicates the quality level of the production.

The sound people need a serious scolding. The balance between the orchestra and the voices was way off, making hearing the words of the songs almost impossible. Also, several times the guys in the booth forgot to turn the mics on and the actors were left looking like they were moving their mouths with no sound coming out, which was followed by a blast of voice. Not good!

CAPSULE JUDGEMENT: If you like light-hearted musicals with excellent music and some nice singing and dancing, you'll be pleased with this touring production of 'LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL.'