BWW Reviews: LEGALLY BLONDE Sparkles and Shines at Ohio State
Wearing hot pink high heels and carrying her fluffy dog, Bruiser, brainy and beautiful Elle Woods brought a little sparkle to Ohio State's campus in Off the Lake's production of "Legally Blonde the Musical" this weekend.
Off the Lake Productions is an Ohio State student-run musical theater group founded in 1997 that allows students of all majors and academic disciplines to express themselves creatively through performing arts. The group hosts many peer theater events in residence halls throughout the year, and produces a themed fall cabaret and a spring musical.
Past Off the Lake productions have included "Pippin," "All Shook Up," and the "Drowsy Chaperone," among others.
This year, Off the Lake presented "Legally Blonde the Musical," an adaptation of the 2001 movie of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon. The show follows Delta Nu sorority president and UCLA fashion merchandising major, Elle Woods, and almost immediately begins with the tumultuous aftermath of a surprise breakup between Elle and her long-time boyfriend, Warner Huntington III.
In despair and upset that Warner wants to date a girl more serious than her, Elle embarks on a crazy plan to attend Harvard Law School to regain her former beau's heart. Yet while at Harvard, between balancing demanding coursework, stern professors, and unfriendly classmates, Elle discovers her potential to achieve professional goals she had never previously dreamt of pursuing.
Although the plot sounds full of fluff, the show is a pleasantly surprising and insightful exploration of independence, friendship and self-confidence, and the Off the Lake production succeeded in conveying these deeper themes to its audience.
Suzanne Magazzeni, a third-year in sociology at Ohio State, shines in the role of Elle, perfectly encapsulating the blonde protagonist's bubbly personality and charm. The cast as a whole does a tremendous job, especially during large group numbers like "So Much Better," "There! Right There!" and the title song, "Legally Blonde."
The performance, complete with a surprise appearance by members of The Ohio State University Marching Band, is an enjoyable two hours packed with energy and toe-tapping numbers, and is sure to please those already familiar with the movie's plotline.
Off the Lake should be commended for its innovative use of space and the creative problem solving that goes into turning an engineering lecture hall into a proper performance venue. Although set changes might be cleaner and the house lights might go off all of the way in a larger theater with a stage curtain, sound booth and orchestra pit, the group does not have access to these amenities, and works through the challenges in the best way that they can.
Off the Lake's production of "Legally Blonde" is an evening full of energetic fun and excitement, presented by a dedicated group of students who strive--and succeed--in sharing their passion for theater with others.
"Legally Blonde" is set to be performed Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m.
Admission is $1 or one canned good. Monetary and non-perishable food collections will be donated to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
The performance is set to take place in room 131 in Hitchcock Hall, located on Ohio State's Columbus campus at 2070 Neil Ave. The room is an auditorium located on the first floor of Hitchcock Hall.
Photo credit: Jerri Shafer