BWW Review: LEGALLY BLONDE is a Totally Awesome Season Opener at Music Circus

BWW Review: LEGALLY BLONDE is a Totally Awesome Season Opener at Music Circus

Snaps for Music Circus! Even with some sound balance and microphone issues opening night, "the "endorphin-happy" score of "Legally Blonde" built a momentum ripe for excitement.

In the Broadway musical based on the Reese Witherspoon film, Elle Woods leaves her UCLA sorority to chase after ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III (Jordan Bondurant) who wants a more "serious" woman (Shannon O'Boyle) to support his future career. But when Elle arrives at Harvard Law School, she learns she does not have to fit a man's definition of "serious" or "blonde" to be smart and find worth.

Long before she reaches the court room, Lauren Zakrin's eyes sparkle with intelligence as Elle. Zakrin came in second on MTV's "Search for the Next Elle Woods," but her talent clearly puts her first here in Sacramento. She has a giddiness about her that never overshadows a potential for success, and she powers through Elle's very demanding ballads.

Music Circus and Broadway favorite Paul Schoeffler of last season's "Peter Pan" and "My Fair Lady" is a shark looking for "blood in the water" as Professor Callahan. It's a regrettably small part which Schoeffler turns into a standout performance. Callahan hires Elle as an intern in a case to defend exercise mogul Brooke Wyndham - a "whipped into shape" Grace Stockdale - who is accused of murder. Stockdale showcases one of Mara Newbery Greer's many cheerful dance numbers in an excellent - and likely to be audience favorite - jump rope routine.

As Elle continues to cross new lines defending Brooke, romantic interest Emmett (James Michael Lambert) drives her forward. New friend and confidante, hair and nail salon owner Paulette Bonafonte (Ryah Nixon) also finds her confidence thanks to Elle. And it wouldn't be true Elle without a whole lot of pink and an imaginary Delta Nu Greek Chorus. The script of "Legally Blonde" often veers into the loveable, but unbelievable. It's cheesy, but oh so much fun. Paulette finds love with a UPS man, and the two do an Irish dance. Elle gives a personal essay and bursts into the Harvard acceptance office right on time with her own band of cheerleaders. And the boys come knocking when she teaches Paulette a fantastic "Bend and Snap." But Elle also brings a lot of heart to the show, which inspires women (and men) to find their own style and to believe in themselves.

The California Musical Theatre Music Circus production has a great sense of style, as well, with unique costumes by Mark Koss - including all of Elle's fabulous pink dresses - and creative light design by Charlie Morrison. Not to mention great use of a multi-leveled, rotating stage.


Music Circus
Through June 19

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