“Legally Blonde: The Musical” is a sassy celebration of superficiality that’s such a good time, you’ll be glad you joined the party.
The musical follows the same story as the film: Bubbly UCLA sorority girl Elle Woods follows her blueblood boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, to Harvard Law School to prove she is serious enough to be marriage material. If you liked the film, you’ll love the musical because the contrasts between the girly sorority and beauty salon versus the cutthroat lecture hall and courtroom lend themselves perfectly to song and dance.
Marc Robin directs a talented and diverse cast in this high-energy romp chock full of hilarious numbers. The opener “Ohmigod You Guys,” features a gaggle of Elle’s Delta Nu sorority sisters and is so catchy my 15-year-old daughter, Emma, and I were singing it on the way home. Ohmigod, you guys, so would you.
Chelsea Packard demonstrates the adorable charm and perky wisdom needed to make Elle a character worth rooting for, and the guys portraying her former and future love interests, Cole Burden (Warner) and David Larsen (Emmett Forest), do a fine job. But Elle’s love life seems beside the point when there are so many other juicy characters and witty songs scattered throughout the show.
“Blood in the Water,” sung by Gene Weygandt as the cynical legal ace Professor Callahan, is a hoot, and Summer Naomi Smart’s Brooke, a fitness instructor accused of murder, accomplishes an impressive feat by belting out “Whipped into Shape” while doing a vigorous jump rope routine without missing a beat (or running out of breath).
But my favorite scenes were the ones involving Paulette, the big-hearted beauty parlor owner played by the fantastic Christine Sherrill. Her rendering of “Ireland” is pure silly genius and her attraction to a studly FedEx deliveryman almost steals the show.
Marriott’s theater-in-the-round is a fun place to experience a musical; there isn’t a bad seat and actors enter and exit through the aisles. My only criticism of staging is that the scene changes are distracting, with big columns being swept around and repositioned unnecessarily between numbers.
But overall, this production is a treat—a big, fluffy, sugary cotton candy treat that might leave your teeth aching a bit—but it’s one you will savor.
“Legally Blonde” runs through April 1 at the Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. For tickets, call 847-634-0200 or visit marriottheatre.com.
Photo by Peter Coombs/The Marriott Theatre