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BWW Reviews: Cabrillo Is All Decked Out in Pink for LEGALLY BLONDE


Legally Blonde The Musical/book by Heather Hach/music & lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin/directed by Tiffany Engen/Cabrillo Music Theatre/@ Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza/through July 28

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 Emma Degerstedt 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? Degerstedt and troupe radiate big time. Also captivating are Lowe Taylor as deliciously droll, good-hearted Paulette, Jaycie Dotin as image-conscious fitness guru/accused murderess Brooke and Elle's rival obnoxious Vivienne, petite Natalie Storrs - and all of Elle's Greek chorus. And the men in the show, who learn to treat their women well or lose: losers J. D. Driskill as scumbag Warner and John D. Lemay, so disgustingly deceitful as Professor Callahan; and winners: sweet and dependable Emmett, played by magnetic Matt Bauer and Ben Bowen as Kyle, the sexiest, Irish jig-dancin' UPS guy on record! Oh, and who can forget the most loveable canine to tread the boards in a while: Frankie as Bruiser. And bravo to the entire dynamite ensemble!

Benjamin and O'Keefe's swinging score is fresh and tingly - love "Ireland", "Chip On My Shoulder" and "Bend and Snap.Tiffany Engen's fast-paced choreography recreated from Jerry Mitchell's original Broadway moves is crowd-pleasing, as is her terrific staging as director. Costumes, most in various shades of pink for Elle, are uncredited but OMG delightfully colorful, as are the appropriate set pieces, also uncredited, ususally rented from the Broadway tour.

This is not Stephen Sondheim, so you need not worry about the serious side of life. Leave that to Elle, who strives to be taken seriously, yet has an awful lot of fun as well. Stick to her up, fun, lighter side 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.

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