Super Summer Theatre’s ‘Legally Blonde’ is a bubbly success

And snap! Pink power, courtesy of the incomparable Elle Woods.
Photo: Andrea Avruskin
Jacob Coakley

Four and a half stars

Legally Blonde The Musical Through August 24, Wednesday-Saturday, 8:05 p.m., $12-$20. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, supersummertheatre.org.

Pretty, blonde and brainy, Elle Woods gets what she wants—whether that’s a good dress or admission to Harvard Law. But the real magic of Legally Blonde is watching this character figure out what she truly wants. The musical adaptation of Legally Blonde, with a book by Heather Hach and music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, tweaks the story a bit to heighten the buoyant energy of the movie, and leavens it with a generous dose of cattiness. And under Philip Shelburne’s direction, P.S. Productions’ interpretation of the musical, now at Super Summer Theatre through August 24, is a joy, worthy of every LOL, OMG and exclamation mark your fastest texters can throw at it.

Alison Thompson is pitch perfect as Elle, filling out an exaggerated character and grounding her in at least a little bit of emotional reality. Her betrayal at the hands of Prof. Callahan (played oozingly well by Steve McMillan) was even more emotionally wrenching here than in the movie. Elle’s Greek Chorus (Xandra Schultz, Katie-Marie Jones and Annie Hinskton) were of good voice, had tremendous presence and impeccable dance moves. Coree Davis and Robert Riordan were also impressive dancers, especially in “There! Right there!” (aka the “Gay or European?” song). The large cast—23 actors playing 30 named roles and an additional 15 ensemble members—brought the goods, enlivening the comedic bits and keeping up with the musically diverse score. The edges frayed a bit in the larger dance numbers, but the leads all nailed Mic Thompson’s playful choreography.

At points the technical elements were not up to snuff—the mixing needed to be a little sharper (the better to not catch heavy breathing after a dance number, yet still catch the first lines of scenes), and lighting designer David M. Schulman got a little too happy with the moving lights and rotating gobos. But Andy Walmsley’s set was inventive and endlessly surprising, and Timothy Cooper’s musical direction was good, with the live accompaniment and tracked audio blending well. In the face of this exuberant, dynamic show, these small notes fade away. This is a production that will make you believe in the power of pink.

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