BWW Reviews: LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL at Oakland University is a Seriously Good Time!
Oakland University's production of Legally Blonde the Musical is a seriously good time. From the moment the talented cast enters the stage, the audience is constantly entertained, laughing, and having fun!
Director Dave Campbell has a clever new way to open the show before the chorus of sorority girls go into "Ohmigod You Guys,' one of the shows most recognized numbers. The female chorus sounds amazing together and when Melissa Perry enters, who plays the lead Elle Woods, she blends perfectly with them. Perry is a standout as Elle with her earnest portrayal of the character. She does an incredible job of making the audience care, feel, and root for her to succeed. Perry has a pure voice that sounds beautiful on her own, but she also is exceptionally great at harmonizing with her fellow cast mates.
David Vogel is a wonderful Emmett Forest who the audience cannot help but like. He is a triple threat with great stage presence, talented acting, and solid singing voice. The comedic and endearing interactions between Vogel and Perry are reason enough to see the show, but the pair also sings beautifully together and especially in the shows title number. Their harmonization's and emotions that go into "Legally Blonde" make it stand out as one of the best numbers in this production.
Jacléne Wilk makes the perfect Vivienne Kensington from her snobbish ways at the beginning that she grows away from into a likeable character by the end, which makes her one to watch. She has a powerhouse voice that sadly the audience does not get to hear a lot of until one of the final numbers, "Legally Blonde Remix," but it is definitely worth the wait to hear her sing.
Another stand out performer in the show is Anna Marck as Paulette Buonofante. Just like Vogel, she is a triple threat as well with great acting especially with comedic timing, a strong strange presence that you cannot help but watch her, and a powerful, soulful singing voice. Marck brings Paulette to life perfectly with heart, comedy, and a little crazy that just makes the character that much more likeable.
Emily Callahan, who is a joy to watch on stage, plays the feminist law student Enid. The quirky awkwardness that she brings to the character makes her unforgettable. Callahan also does a great job of setting her character apart and not letting her get mistaken for one of the Delta Nu sorority girls. Callahan is remarkable at staying in character when the main focus is not on Enid. She does little things during those moments that make her memorable.
Jake Wood does a good job of playing the pompous Warner Huntington III, just as Tym Falk does at being Professor Callahan. Emily Stys not only has the body for her fitness instructor role of Brooke Wyndham, she is sassy and fun to watch on stage. Lindsay Maron, Natalie Sparbeck, and Olivia Griffin play Elle's sorority sisters Serena, Margo, and Pilar respectively. Watching the three friends throughout the show, who appear at times in Elle's head as part of a Greek chorus, it is apparent that all three have fun with their roles while they dance and sing during the show.
Legally Blonde the Musical is very heavy with large chorus number and this production does a great job with them. The harmonies during the songs and impressive dance numbers as a group are spectacular that the ensemble deserves to be recognized. They are Joey Feldman, Aubrey Fink, Stacey Fleming, Emma Griffith, Shauna Hazime, Bianca Keitel, McKayla Kremidas, Collin Kuss, Nathan Larkins, Kiel Lerch, Garret Markgraf, Christopher Neville, Devin Price, Joshua Steckelberg, Helena Thompson, Larry Trice, Keith Zachow, and Kamryn Zorn.
This production is done really well especially with the use of space that the Varner Studio Theatre offers. DirecTor Campbell and choreographer Ali Woerner utilized the stage and how the theatre is set up three quarters of the way in the round to their advantage. With singing and dancing happening all around them, there is never a dull moment for the audience during the show.
Legally Blonde the Musical is currently running now through February 10th at the Varner Studio Theatre on Oakland University's campus. For more information or tickets, visit www.oakland.edu/tickets.