To quote the lively opening number from “Legally Blonde: The Musical” currently showcased at the Kravis Center, “Omigod You Guys,” this show is an absolute blast. Based on the popular 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon, “Legally Blonde” is vibrant, glamorous, and decidedly not your typical romantic comedy. Beneath its pink glitz, the musical offers a powerful message of empowerment, providing a fresh perspective on the tired narrative of women changing themselves to fit men’s expectations.
A Tale of Transformation
The story follows Elle Woods (Hannah Bonnett), a brilliant fashion merchandising student in her final year at UCLA. Elle is excitedly preparing to wear the perfect pink dress for what she believes will be her boyfriend Warner’s (James Oblak) marriage proposal. However, instead of a ring, Elle receives heartbreak as Warner, an Ivy League narcissist, dumps her, claiming she lacks the seriousness required to be the wife of a future senator. According to Warner, he desires a woman of substance, like Jackie Kennedy, rather than the blonde bombshell reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe.
Elle’s Determination to Prove Herself
Undeterred, Elle devises a plan to win back Warner’s affection. She enrolls at Harvard Law School to study alongside him, aiming to prove her seriousness and capability. Nevertheless, Warner has found a new love interest in the serious and brunette Vivienne (Lea Sevola). He mocks Elle for not being intelligent enough to become a lawyer and for not fitting in. However, Elle remains steadfast and discovers that she has untapped potential and dreams beyond her imagination.
A Modern Adaptation
The musical adaptation of “Legally Blonde” initially debuted on Broadway in 2007. However, the current tour reflects contemporary society. This production incorporates updated cultural references, including a visual featuring Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Furthermore, the show’s technology has been revamped, with standout video design by Jonathan Infante. The realistic projections, such as a moonlit restaurant scene set against undulating water, create a captivating ambiance that might inspire you to book a reservation.
Stellar Performances and Whimsical Elements
The cast delivers exceptional performances. Ashley Morton shines as Paulette, a hairdresser who becomes Elle’s first friend in Boston. She captivates the audience with her hilarious subplot involving an ex-boyfriend, her dog Rufus, and a charming UPS driver named Kyle. Morton also delivers one of the show’s standout songs, “Ireland.” Matthew Dean Hollis, portraying Kyle, brings humor and memorability to his brief time on stage.
Lea Sevola embodies the role of the elitist Vivienne, convincingly demonstrating snobbish posturing. However, an incident forces her to see Elle in a new light, showcasing her versatility. Woody White delivers a warm and earnest portrayal of Emmett, a young lawyer who inspires Elle to embrace her potential. Finally, Hannah Bonnett triumphs as Elle, showcasing her soaring vocals and delivering an inspiring performance that makes you want to cheer her on.
The Strength of Substance and Style
“Legally Blonde” is a delightful, energetic production that illustrates the significance of substance and style working in harmony. It emphasizes that one does not have to triumph over the other. In fact, there is incredible strength when both aspects complement each other seamlessly.
IF YOU GO
“Legally Blonde” continues its run until Sunday, May 21, at the Kravis Center, located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. For tickets and more information, call 561-832-7469 or visit Garrity Traina.