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Southern Florida by John Lariviere


Legally Blonde - The Musical

Legally BlondeKravis On Broadway, in association with MGM On Stage and Fox Theatricals is proud to present the South Florida premiere of the musical Legally Blonde - The Musical at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

Based upon the novel "Legally Blonde" by Amanda brown and the 2001 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture of the same name, Legally Blonde - The Musical features music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and a book by Heather Hach. It opened on Broadway at the Palace Theater on April 29, 2007. The production received seven 2007 Tony Award nominations, ten 2007 Drama Desk Award Nominations and a 2007 Outer Critics Circle Award. The chorus of the production was honored by Actors' Equity Association's Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs with the first ever ACCA Award. The show closed on October 19, 2008 after 595 performances. In the fall of 2007, MTV aired a performance of the musical in its entirety, which was nominated for two 2007-2008 Daytime Emmy Awards. It was followed by the MTV reality show "Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods," which premiered on June 2, 2008.

The plot of Legally Blonde - The Musical follows the plot of the movie with exactness. It is the story of a seemingly pampered, Malibu-born Elle Woods. As her UCLA graduation date approaches, she is sure her boyfriend Warner is about to propose marriage, and she shares her excitement with her Delta Nu sorority sisters. Instead he proposes they break up, as he is looking for someone more serious—or in his words, "more of a Jackie (Kennedy) and less of a Marilyn (Monroe)." He feels Elle is not the ideal bride for a future politician. Elle doesn't take "no" for an answer. Instead she puts down the credit card, hits the books, and sets out to follow Warner where no Delta Nu has gone before: Harvard Law. Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.

From the opening song ("Omigod You Guys"), it is clear that great energy and fun is found in the marriage of the music and lyrics to the script. The songs truly do fit the characters, and define moments of the show with the right style. The choreography and costumes are visually enjoyable, and the tunes are memorable. Becky Gulsvig is perky as Elle, though her singing voice becomes a bit forward and nasal at times, and she seemed a bit weary in the song "So Much Better." Jeff McLean sings the part of Warner to perfection (especially in "Serious"). He is needlessly the victim of some bad costuming that fails in making him the hunk he is meant to be, however, in more than one scene. Megan Lewis is a tad bland as Vivienne, aside from a few good lines. A dashing Ken Land as Professor Callahan does a fine job with "Blood In the Water." Natalie Joy Johnson as Paulette is talented but slightly inconsistent in her comic timing. D.B. Bonds is just right as Emmett. He is warm and appropriately understated. The show is laced throughout with delightfully entertaining ensemble moments, such as those by Elle's sorority sisters, and well-done cameos such as those by Coleen Sexton as Brooke Wyndham. Of course, the audience is also won over by two adorable dogs that behave right on cue. This lighthearted show presents a valid reminder to all to look beneath the surface to see the true value of others. Who would have though that such a fluffy movie could be made into such an audience pleasing musical?

Legally Blonde - The Musical appeared March 17th 22nd, 2009 in the Dreyfoos Hall of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. The Kravis Center is located at 701 Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach, FL. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. For information on their season, you may contact them at 561-832-7469 (561-832-SHOW) or 1-800-572-8471 (1-800-KRAVIS-1) or online at www.kravis.org. for more information on this tour of Legally Blonde - The Musical you may go to legallyblondethemusical.com.

Cast:
Elle Woods: Becky Gulsvig
Warner Huntington III: Jeff McLean
Vivienne Kensington: Megan Lewis
Emmett Forrest: D.B.Bonds
Professor Callahan: Ken Land
Paulette: Natalie Joy Johnson
Serena: Cortney Wolfson
Margot: Kate Rockwell
Pilar:Crystal Joy
Brooke Wyndham: Coleen Sexton
Kate/Chutney: Alex Ellis
District Attorney: Sarah Marie Jenkins
Stenographer: Lauren Ashley Zakrin
Enid: Gretchen Burghart
Store Manager/Judge: Amber Efe
Courtney/Mom/Whitney: Cara Massey
Grandmaster/Chad/Dewey/Kyle:Ven Daniel
Pforzheimer: Nick Dalton
Lowell: Barry Anderson
Carlos: Kyle Brown
Padamadan/Nikos: Adam Zelasko
Aaron:Tally Sessions
Bruiser: Frankie
Rufus: Nellie
Beer Bash Dancers:Kyle Brown, Adam Zelasko

Crew:
Director/Choreographer: Jerry Mitchell
Music Director/Conductor: Jan Rosenberg
Scenic Design: David Rockwell
Lighting Design: Ken Posner & Paul Miller
Sound Design: Acme Sound Partners
Costume Design:Gregg Barnes
Hair Design: David Brian Brown
Animal Trainer: Bill Berloni
Production Stage Manager: Tom Bartlett

The actors and stage managers in this production are members of Actors' Equity Association, the union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere



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