Pink splashed across the stage with reckless abandon. Next scene, more pink.
A handsome stud sings a romantic ditty to the audience. His girlfriend stands
up waving at the back of his head. That’s the unenviable beginning to
the new Broadway musical LEGALLY BLONDE. If you’re thinking this must
really stink, you’re wrong.
BLONDE is LEGALLY light and as clever as a Philadelphia lawyer. Speaking of
which, the blonds in this show are more than mere cream cheese. As the story
begins, Elle Woods, (Reese Witherspoon’s role in the movie) wins her
way into Harvard Law just to pursue the handsome self obsessed boyfriend who
As played here by Laura Bell Bundy, Elle tap dances her Harvard admissions
essay along with a chorus of her sorority sisters. You just have to hand it
to her for pulling off such a tacky entrance. But Bundy wins our hearts
because she plays it with the confidence and ease that Elle deserves.
She may be a socialite, but she connects with people from all walks of life.
In fact, some of the most charming scenes take place in the beauty parlor with
Elle’s beautician and confidante, Paulette. Orfeh gives a knock out performance
as the street wise woman with a golden heart, a stream of funny gags, a feisty
French bull dog and finally, a boyfriend. Paulette just flips when she meets
the UPS guy, a ‘Lil Abner take off, played with some rare bragadosio
by Gaelen Gilliland.
Of course the story is all about these flakey romances and the characters
are typically cartoonish. Even Michael Rupert’s Harvard law professor,
a boorish womanizer and a snidely villain at that, is nothing short of scene
Laurence O’Keefe’s and Nell Benjamin’s score is flighty
and quick with a couple of surprising numbers, including the courtroom revelation
in which a murderer is exposed when her beard turns out to be a gay European, “you
big parfait/you flaming one-man cabaret.” Happily, it’s performed
in Maurice Chivalia manner.
But the real hero of the production is Jerry Mitchell who drives the story,
the actors and the musical scenes with such energy that BLONDE is actually
Thats This Week on Broadway. Im Isa Goldberg.