|'Legally Blonde' is High Energy Fun|
|Friday, 15 October 2010 06:24|
In 2007, the musical version of the 2001 film "Legally Blonde" went to Broadway where it remained for more than a year and was described as "fun," "an ingratiating trifle" and "high energy, empty calories." The second national tour (non-equity) began less than a month ago and, judging from the reaction of the near-capacity crowd in Miller Auditorium at Kalamazoo's Western Michigan University Thursday evening, those descriptions are well-deserved — and completely accurate.
"Legally Blonde" is nothing but fun from from fast-paced opening ("OMIGYOUGUYS") to near-finale reprise of the same. Watching the over-the-top energy of the young company, I was close to exhaustion by the final blackout — and this without leaving my seat. But, as leading blonde Elle Woods (or "Woods, Elle") declares "exercise creates endorphins and endorphins make you happy." Not quite the usual argument for a defense attorney at a murder trial, but absolutely on the money just the same. If you have seen the Reese Witherspoon 2001 starrer, you are familiar with the cotton candy plot. Elle (Nikki Bohne), a dedicated Delta Nu sorority sister at a southern California university, is dumped by her perfect boyfriend, Warner Huntington III (Matthew Ragas), who is headed for Harvard Law and needs a more "Serious" mate. Undaunted, "Positive" Elle packs chihuahua Bruiser in her signature pink bag and heads east, sailing through admissions and classes to a spot on the select team of Professor Callahan (Kahlil Joseph), winning the heart of associate professor Emmett Forrest (Nic Rouleau) and the murder case of fitness guru Brooke Wyndham (Shannon Mullen) — almost without losing one peck of perky! Bohne twinkles through to the bitter end, displaying more lung power and clothed in more shades of pink than I ever thought possible. Her supporting cast does the same. Special applause goes to the three Delta Nu Greek chorus members who "advise" Elle throughout, to beautician Paulette (Jillian Walach) who finds romance comes UPS via the "Bend and Snap," and to Wallach for delivering a non-stop exercise number ("Whipped Into Shape") that, by a less-in-shape performer, could result in a coronary. OK, the sets are way down from Broadway but the talent is right up there, with one high stepping number after another. True, there really isn't one you come out of the theater remembering, but while they are on they deliver the promised endorphins. A lot of the lyrics are almost impossible to decipher but, really, who cares? They all are having so much fun that you will, too. Even the excellent cast, however, should remember W.C. Fields' admonition about being on stage with children and/or animals. That Bruiser is a real scene stealer!
"LEGALLY BLONDE" plays at 8 p.m. today in Miller Auditorium off Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo. For reservations, call (269) 387-2300.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 16 April 2011 01:27|