BWW Reviews: PCPA Scores with a Fun-Filled Legally Blonde

August 6
12:52 PM 2012


Legally Blonde The Musical/book by Heather Hach/music & lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin/directed by Michael Jenkinson/PCPA Theatrefest, Solvang Festival Theater/through August 19 

OMG! You mean, like, Elle Woods isn't from the San Fernando Valley, but from Malibu? Wow! And- she not only attended college locally but got into Harvard Law School? May seem a bit far-fetched or too hard to swallow, but it doesn't matter, because once you've seen Elle in action, she's irresistible: a cross between Goldie Hawn, Glinda from Wicked and a splash of Mary Poppins thrown in for good measure. You're gonna love her, guys, in this grande spanking, freshly blossomed pink rosebud of a show. If you liked Reese Witherspoon, you will adore perky, gorgeous Jessica Crouch and everyone else in the fantastically sugar-coated romp Legally Blonde The Musical.

I never saw the film but it only took a few scenes for me to fall in love with the overly-optimistic story and the excessive giddiness of the characters. When Elle enters Harvard Law School for the first time dressed as a majorette with marching band in tow, Blonde had me hooked. And it's all for the sake of love. How can you top that? Crouch and troupe radiate big time. Also captivating are Elizabeth Stuart as the good-hearted Paulette, Sarah Girard as fitness guru/accused murderess Brooke and Elle's rival Vivienne, vixen Karin Hendricks - and all of Elle's Greek chorus. And the men in the show, who learn to treat their women well or lose:  Connor Bond as Warner, Michael Tremblay, so disgustingly deceitful as Professor Callahan, sweet and dependable Emmett, played by magnetic Chris Cooke and Andrew Philpot as Kyle, the sexiest, Irish jig-dancin' UPS guy on record! Oh, and who can forget the 2 most loveable canines to tread the boards in a while: Ginger as Bruiser and Humphrey as Rufus! And bravo to the dynamite 16 member ensemble dancers!

Benjamin and O'Keefe's swinging score is fresh and tingly and Jenkinson's fast-paced choreography is crowd-pleasingly sensational, as is his terrific staging as director. DeAnne Kennedy has done a splendid job with efficient set pieces and Emily DeAngelis with the colorful costumes.

This is not Sondheim or Andrew Lloyd Webber, so you need not worry about the serious side of life. Leave that to Elle, who strives to be serious, but has an awful lot of fun as well. This show is loaded with HEART.

Warning: there are issues of sexual harrassment, infidelity, deceit, homosexuality and lesbianism, and even murder...and some cases of... poor taste in clothing and..omigod, bad hair, but it all sort of meshes together in what seems like one big happy colorful dream, so lighten up and bring the kiddies along! What's the bottom line? A bright evening of laughs and a lot of sunshine...well, ...glow ... under the stars of the PCPA Summerfest.





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About the Author

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Don Grigware Don Grigware is an Ovation nominated actor and writer whose contributions to theatre through the years have included 6 years as theatre editor of NoHoLA, a contributor to LA Stage Magazine and currently on his own website:

Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. He is a teacher of foreign language and ESL.

Don is in his seventh year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page. He received a BWW Award for Excellence in 2014 as one of the top ten Regional Editors across the globe.

Don is also an author/playwright and recently published Books I, II & III of his children's fable Two Worlds Together: Donnelly's Greatest Christmas. You may purchase copies of the two volumes at Two one-acts in a collection called Holiday Madness were just published, also on Both the story and plays are available on kindle as well as in paperback.


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