“Legally Blonde, The Musical” Is What It Is- Fast And Furious Comedy With That Special Stages-St. Louis Touch

The great opening number, "Omigod You Guys" gets "Legally Blonde-The Musical" off on the right foot at Stages-St. Louis.

The great opening number, “Omigod You Guys” gets “Legally Blonde-The Musical” off on the right foot at Stages-St. Louis. Photo: Peter Wochniak

You can’t help but laugh along with the wonderous Elle Woods and her assault on Harvard Law- all in the name of love. The fact that love takes a funny turn as well is what this musical is all about. And Stages-St. Louis brings their magic touch to “Legally Blonde-The Musical” to make sure the audience is entertained at break-neck speed through two and a half hours.

The score is almost a pleasant after-thought (it is a musical, after all) but that music isn’t going to win any awards. The fact that a lot of the songs along with the book are filled with often outrageous humor about a preppy who shows that she has brains as well, makes the show sustainable and just a lot of fun. Michelle London wows us with her hesitant approach to having the chops to get into and succeed in law school while maintaining her almost “valley girl” (is that term still relevant?) life style. She sings, she dances and she absolutely charms us with her winning smile and winning ways.

The versatile Ben Nordstrom tries to get rid of the "Chip On My Shoulder" with the ladies of the chorus in "Legally Blonde" at Stages-St. Louis.

The versatile Ben Nordstrom tries to get rid of the “Chip On My Shoulder” with the ladies of the chorus in “Legally Blonde” at Stages-St. Louis. Photo: Peter Wochniak

Everyone’s favorite Stages musical comedy man, Ben Nordstrom, returns to St. Louis to take on the role of professor’s assistant and eventual love interest, Emmett Forrest. He dazzles again with his versatility- be it juggling baker or leading man- with a smooth charm and a stage presence that draws your attention no matter how many are on stage with him. Equally adept on the musical comedy stage is another favorite, David Schmittou who commands respect and a little too much more as Professor Callahan.

Heather Jane Rolff as Paulette sings to Michelle London as Elle about her dreams of "Ireland" at Stages-St. Louis production of "Legally Blonde."

Heather Jane Rolff as Paulette sings to Michelle London as Elle about her dreams of “Ireland” at Stages-St. Louis production of “Legally Blonde.” Photo: Peter Wochniak

Coming thisclose to stealing the show is Heather Jane Rolff as the hair dresser, Paulette. Besides giving invaluable advice to Elle and finding and winning the man of her dreams in the form of UPS delivery man, played with proper swagger by Scott Guthrie, she belts out a powerful “Ireland” in the first act and delights with the wonderful “Bend and Snap” number in the second act. Besides, she has Rufus, the bulldog who manages to outshine Elle’s chihuahua Bruiser- not an easy task.

Brandon Davidson makes a most dramatic entrance as Elle’s boyfriend Warner and continues to vacillate between her and his new “snooty” Harvard girlfriend. Nicolette Hart is convincing (despite the horribly oversized wig) as Brooke, the video weight loss guru who is on trial for murdering her elderly husband- Elle’s masterful first case. She leads the chorus in one of the most spirited and energetic  songs of the evening, “Whipped Into Shape” which includes precision-like mastery of jump ropes.

Michelle London as Elle delivers her valedictorian speech at the close of "Legally Blonde-The Musical" at Stages-St. Louis.

Michelle London as Elle delivers her valedictorian speech at the close of “Legally Blonde-The Musical” at Stages-St. Louis. Photo: Peter Wochniak

Michael Hamilton’s direction is spot-on with an emphasis on high energy and laughs. Rusty Mowery has recreated the original Jerry Mitchell choreography- again with a spirit apropos to the high-octane atmosphere of the young cast. Originally produced by our town’s Fox Theatricals, the book, based on a novel and then the popular film of the same name is silly but effective and the music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin won’t have you humming the songs after the show but fit very well into the script.

And, of course, the usual supporting cast and chorus energy level into the stratosphere helps move the show along at a great clip and squeezes every ounce of “comedy” out of this musical comedy. Hardest working cast in show biz and they bring it all to “Legally Blonde.” And a mention as well to the clever and colorful block set design of James Wolk, the lights of Matthew McCarthy and wonderful costumes of Lou Bird.

Catch “Legally Blonde-The Musical” at Stages through August 18th. Give the box office a call at 314-821-2407 and get tickets now for this evening of fun and escape. As usual, you’ll have a great time.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: