“But I see a star
You’re my new muse
You’ve got the best freakin’ shoes!
And you lit a fuse
So go show them who’s
-Vivienne, “Legally Blonde Remix”
Omigod, omigod you guys, in Stanley Park is a fabulous event where you’ll have an outrageously fun time. That’s right, Legally Blonde is playing at Theatre Under The Stars. Spoilers ahead!
I was accompanied Monday night by the lovely Tristen to enjoy the sojourn into the life of sorority president Elle Woods going straight into Harvard Law. Due to photography/videography restrictions for this production, any stills I provide will be from past productions performed.
An important part of any production is the opening; that is, it has to give off enough energy to keep the audience engaged. The first thing I was struck by was the intense energy in the opening number. The amount of enthusiasm the Delta Nu sisters gave off was contagious.
While this show is not as meta as other shows (such as [title of show]), it plays with a lot of tropes that you’d find in most musicals. In “Serious,” Warner (Elle’s beau) interrupts her as she begins to sing back to him, a departure from the traditional back-and-forth one would see in most musicals between a couple which establishes his character as a pompus and arrogant jerkass. The out-of-the-moment number that serves to highlight an actor’s skill.
One would say that Legally Blonde is a parodic musical; it would be highly unlikely for someone like Elle (no matter how audacious she presented herself as to the admissions commitee) to be accepted into Harvard Law,Props go toward the Delta Nu trio (Serena, Margot, and Pilar) as being perky and funny characters. While I generally hate that kind of character for their shallowness, they are quite endearing even if they don’t chase at all throughout the show. Other than being a Greek (pun very intended) chorus that Elle (and eventually Paulette) sees, they remind me of the Muses from Disney’s Hercules: very, very sassy.
A thing I was somewhat iffy about though was the set and certain parts of the choreography; quite a bit was eerily identical to the MTV showing of the musical in 2007. Now, I understand that taking bits and pieces from past shows isn’t unheard of or necessarily discouraged, but I would’ve loved if there was a different set for the opening number. “Whipped into Shape” could be forgiven as steps were given in the lyrics, and to change them would be unfair to the number. Oh, and “There! Right There!” had fallen into the trap of being given the misnomer “Gay or European.”
It’s a good musical: we see Elle transform from a ditsy sorority girl to a respectable lawyer in the span of 2-and-a-half hours. We see a scruffy socially displaced guy land someone who “won the genetic lotto.” The use of a cheerleading move cements a relationship between an unlucky hairstylist and a sexy UPS guy. UPDATE 27/07: The use of real live dogs (which, as anyone can attest, takes hard work). So, if you’re looking for a more modernised musical with more modern rock tunes while retaining the traditional musical serenades this summer, don’t miss out on this! It plays until August 15th, if I recall correctly, alternating nights with How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.