Part of the latest group of movies-turned-Broadway-musicals is Legally Blonde, which is now at the North Carolina Theatre, in the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
The stage musical adaptation of Legally Blonde features the same cast of characters we all know and love from the Reese Witherspoon-helmed film, with the addition of spunky musical numbers and a little extra dose of laughs. The show is a perfectly pink bundle of joy, and is a feel-good show that anyone could enjoy. The opening number, “Omigod You Guys” is one of the catchiest songs ever written for musical theater - you’ll be singing it for days, guaranteed.
The show follows Elle Woods as she makes her journey from Malibu to Harvard Law, defying odds, and teaching everyone a lesson about judging a book by its cover. Elle is portrayed by Autumn Hurlbert, who was the first runner-up in the MTV Reality Show Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods, and was in the show on Broadway. Hurlbert is a great fit for the role, and has great comic timing as the not-so-ditzy blonde. Her voice fills the large auditorium, especially in the show’s title song, “Legally Blonde.” The ensemble of ladies who play the sorority girls of Delta Nu are wonderful as the Greek chorus which lives in Elle’s head and helps to liven up the brick walls of Harvard. As Elle’s nemesis, Vivienne, Michelle London proves her vocal chops and melts the cold exterior of the character to show real heart.
As the two opposing love interests in Elle’s life, Constantine Rousouli and Adam Hose delivered as Warner and Emmett, respectively. Another standout in the cast was Broadway vet Kathy Fitzgerald as the quirky Paulette. When Paulette and the girls get together to perform “Bend and Snap,” the entertainment level goes through the roof.
The creative elements of the show were pretty good - the lighting was good, and the sets were fine. However, the sets seemed a little small for the stage and there were a few times when there was no set, and the actors were in front of a cloud background. Those were transition times, but a bench or a lamppost would have been helpful in placing the characters in a scene. The costumes were fun, sparkly, and certainly displaying the show’s signature color, pink.
All in all, Legally Blonde is a terrifically fun night at the theater. It embraces the feeling of musical theater that seems to be lost nowadays - a feel-good show that won’t apologize for being fun. Legally Blonde runs through October 14. For tickets and more information, visit www.nctheatre.com
Photo Credit: Curtis Brown