Sight unseen, it’s easy to dismiss “Legally Blonde The Musical.” It’s like initially writing off the show’s heroine, the starry-eyed, can’t-give-up-her-guy Delta Nu, Elle Woods. Okay, we vaguely remember the movie, but why put this frothy tale to music?
However, with this latest production at Santa Rosa Junior College, it doesn’t take long to reconsider that judgment. We watch Elle’s boyfriend Emmett crooning like Michael Bublé before dumping her, explaining that in his Kennedyesque pursuit of power he will need a woman who is “less of a Marilyn, more of a Jackie.”
Later the cutthroat Harvard Professor Callahan lectures students that “law school is a waste, oh yes, unless you acquire a taste for blood in the water.” As in all good theater, we begin to recognize that this is about us.
The witty, biting lyrics keep piling up and the show keeps rolling out quirky, intriguing characters on Elle’s journey to try to win back her guy and find happiness via Harvard Law. Along the way there seems ample time for zaniness (Irish dancing and extended musings on whether the murder defendant’s pool boy is gay or merely European.) Top it off with two audience-pleasing pooches and you realize that this eye-catching production has crept up from behind and repeatedly tickled your funny bone.
Bravo for putting together such a solid cast of more than two dozen players. The show sparkles with strong singing and acting not only from the leads, Sigrid Forsythe as Elle and Zachary Hasbany as Emmett, but also from key players Audrey Tatum, Christopher Gonzalez, Blake Chandler, Kayla Kearney and Emili Lewis. With each song it seems that someone new is grabbing the spotlight and the melody.
The production, recommended for ages 12 and above, continues at 8 tonight, with more shows continuing through May 5, the last performance taking place during the college’s Day Under the Oaks. Tickets are $15 general admission ($10 for the Saturday April 27 matinee, $18 for May 5; less for seniors and students).
– Robert Digitale