By Sara Dudley Brown, Theatre Editor
Did you ever ponder what a musical of the movie “Legally Blond” would be like? Me, neither, but we should have. This show is smart, funny, full of heart and positive messages, and is just plain feel good fun. And, good news! This cast is up to the task! I enjoyed every lovely, frothy moment from the “Omigod You Guys” rollicking opening number to the finale with the audience standing, clapping and singing along with the cast! And, oh yes, there’s a lot of Pepto Bismol pink in the ingenious sets and the delicious costumes. I hear what you’re thinking. “It’s just a silly fairy tale.” Get over it! It works and you’ll love it!
The show, with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and the book by Heather Hach, is based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 2001 motion picture of the same name, but it’s way more fun. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the story, but here it is. Elle Woods (sparkling Morgan Arrivillaga) has it all. She wants nothing more than to be Mrs. Warner Huntington III (Brendon Quinn). But there is one thing stopping him from proposing: She is too blond and not serious enough. Elle rallies all of her resources and gets into Harvard Law School, determined to win him back. Oy! But wait….
“Legally Blond’s” voices are strong in the upper and belting registers and the casting is up-to-date diverse and really spot on! However, (note to Alan Wray, the excellent sound design guy) many cast members’ voices are softer in the lower registers, so could their body mics be amped up a bit? Hate missing a single word.
The director (Hans Bachman) and choreographer (Stefan Sittig) bring down the house several times with this richly talented cast! Elle’s “Bend and Snap” number comes to mind. The acting is really good, and the dancing is high-spirited and non-stop! Also, the 11-piece orchestra sets the high octane tempos early on and never lets up.
Of special note is the tiny, lithe, sweet and bubbly powerhouse with a bit of sass, Morgan Arrivillaga (Elle), as is Katherine Lipovsky (Paulette), Elle’s new best friend and manicurist. Lipovsky is a promising comic actress and singer to watch. Also, Kaylen Morgan (Emmett Forrest) won my
heart. He is a terrific actor, singer and believably sweet guy! As I said, the ENTIRE cast is marvelous! Just wish I had the space to discuss each one.’
There is also a “pawfully” cute non-speaking role the audience loved, too! (You didn’t hear it from me!) One note of caution, however, if talk of Elle’s “gaydar” gives you pause, or a discussion of “Is he gay or is he European?” bothers you, you might want to rethink seeing this. Although, I must say, the song, (Is he) “Gay or European” is one of my favorite songs of the night. I’m just sayin’.
Little Theatre of Alexandria’s “Legally Blond” is a delightfully entertaining musical confection that will satisfy your summertime sweet tooth without any extra calories! I highly recommend it! Snaps to this superlative cast!
Performance and Ticket Information:
“Legally Blond” runs from July 22 through August 12 at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Public performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 3 pm. For tickets visit: www.thelittletheatre.com or call 703-683-0496.
Photos by Matt Liptak