Review: LEGALLY BLONDE at Roxy's Downtown

Like it's hard to have fun at this show!

By: May. 26, 2024
Review: LEGALLY BLONDE at Roxy's Downtown
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Omigod, you guys, they made Legally Blonde into a musical, and it’s at Roxy’s Downtown until June 8! You are welcomed into the funny, vibrant, optimistic, pro-girl, pink saturated world of Elle Woods. Twenty-three years after the iconic film’s release, with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and book by Heather Hach. Directed by the consummate Rick Bumgardner. 

Reeling from the disappointment of her power-couple status ending when she hoped it was going matrimonial, Elle is not one to let anything stand in the way of what she wants. She does what any fashionable, cheerleader, sorority sister would do when she wants her man back, apply to Harvard Law School and win his love!

Armed with growth mindset, determination, and her little pup Bruiser, Elle moves to Cambridge to prove to her ex-boyfriend she’s a complete package, beautiful and serious.  Harvard isn’t prepared for the flavor of femininity, sisterhood, and can-do attitude that she embodies, and she quickly meets some haters. She also makes friends along the way. Emmett, law teaching assistant, gives her a dose of tough love and helps her find her inner lawyer. When she applies her positive attitude to studying, and makes the connection that to be a successful lawyer is to help people, we know our gal will make us proud.

Hard to dislike, although we can see why she inspires envy, always looking great, with an upbeat personality, that would irritate a less sanguine type, Kalene "Koko" Blanton as Elle is charming and sincere.  With an awesome voice, in a spirited, non-stop, roller-coaster of wins, disappointments, and mic drops, she makes it look effortless. Look forward to "So Much Better." 

One of the first friends Elle makes in Cambridge, is Paulette, a local hairstylist, that has a bit more life experience, and gives a rousing motivational boost. Rachel Downs portrays the quirky, unlucky in love, but heart-of-gold gal. She impresses with her expressive voice in the humorous yet heartfelt song “Ireland” and with Elle and the sorority sisters in now iconic “Bend and Snap.” 

Wyman Wheeler, as Warner, wins us in the beginning, with his comic timing and disarming smile with Elle in “Serious,” but Emmett proves to be the upstanding guy we need while motivating us, and Elle, in “Chip on My Shoulder.”

Elle has a “Greek chorus” in her head of sorority sister friends, that pop in to support their favorite girl whenever she needs a lift, or help celebrating, the Delta Nu’s are Kimberly Loya-Enriquez, Haylee Couey, Sierra Myers and Mia Krebs, lighting up the stage with the entire company for the infectious opening number “Omigod You Guys." With a nod to choreographer Courtney Wages for bringing it all together.  I was tapping my feet!  Another company favorite, “There! Right There!” is just so funny, smart and over the top. Don’t miss it!

There are a couple of delicious little villain types in the mix. Julia Faust as Vivienne is wonderfully dark and hateful as Elle’s nemesis for Warren. And Professor Callahan bellows out a chilling “Blood in the Water” on the first day of class! Lawyering is not for the faint of heart.

Elle Woods is known for her style, and costume designer Chadwick Armstrong outfitted the company expertly. A greek chorus in gleaming white sweat sets, and Harvard students representing their beet colored school pride, to the courtroom with sharp tailored suits, everyone stunned.  Elle is soigné in every shade of pink dress imaginable, not a pantsuit in sight, looking like a walking felony all the while.

Roxy’s has a “postage stamp” for a stage, and you would never think it to sit in the audience mesmerized by the flurry of activity, quickly changing locations. With a pink frosting that topped everything from Rachel Downs pulling double duty, J Branson’s scenic design is top notch in its functionality and seamlessness. 

All of this magic wouldn’t be complete without the five-piece orchestra bringing in that live music touch that cannot be replaced. Paul Graves, Lukas Weber, Ryan Linares, David Sewell, and Randy Fields, thank you, gentleman!

If you haven’t been to Roxy’s Downtown over the past year, and seen the amazing shows they are creating, do not miss the final production of their 2023/2024 season, Legally Blonde! It is hilarious, smart, and touching. An animated, uplifting moment of theatre magic.

...and a local dog makes her stage debut!

Through June 8 see for tickets and times.

“I’ll show you how valuable Elle Woods can be.”


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