Sunday, January 29, 2012

Legally Blonde at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre

“Omigod You Guys, “Legally Blonde the Musical” kicked off The Marriottt Theatre 2012 season in a brightly pink and amped up production that leaves you both exhilarated and dizzy if not a little exhausted from all the excitement that's going on the Marriott stage.

The musical based on the novel by Amanda Brown and then turned into the hit 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon packs a lot of punch in the short amount of time and if sometimes if you feel that the message that the wiliness to do anything for love ultimately gives into the power of personal self acceptance passes you by rather quickly, it does leave you with a fun-filled score that's filled with as much wit as it is product placement.

Legally Blonde as many know who have seen the movie, however for those who haven't is the story of the ever popular and ever determined Elle Woods, who at the start of the show's main goal seem to be to become the wife of the equally popular Warner Huntington III.   Her plans get sidetracked when Warner dumps her to attend Harvard Law School and also to marry someone who appears to be more serious. However to prove appearances can be deceiving, Elle like any modern women decides to hit the books and apply to Harvard where not only does she get in she's able to rise to the top of her class, get everyone to like her, and belt out a pop score with ease.  All of this while maintaining her signature wardrobe of pink.      

In the starring role of Elle, Chelsea Packard sometimes lacks the likeability that is required for the role but provides a strong voice and lands the comedic aspects of the role with aplomb. As Emmett, Elle's champion David Larsen isn't able to make much of an impact except during his song “Chip on My Shoulder.” Much like Jennifer Coolidge in the film and Orfeh on Broadway Christine Sherrill as Paulette steals the show with both her belting and her comedic skills making her role the crowd pleaser it deserves to be. As Professor Callahan Gene Weygandt is able to make a terrible song like “Blood in the Water” land and as Vivienne Stephanie Binetti is able to convincingly turn her character from being unlikeable to slightly more likeable in the matter of a few moments. The rest of the cast are all excellent and energy levels are as up as if the cast were being pumped with several red bulls.

The show is paced so fast that it only allows a few seconds to breath but all of that is handled expertly by director/choreographer Marc Robin's who does wonders with the material. Costume designer Nancy Missimi is able to do wonders with the differences between East Coast and Wet Coast attire and Diane Ferry Williams lighting design never misses a beat.

The music written by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin is catchy and tuneful and feels such power pop anthems as “What You Want,” “Positive,” “Chip On My Shoulder,” and “So Much Better” and the book by Heather Hatch is quick with the one liners and keeps the action flowing while still remaining true to the movie as to not confuse people not familiar with the material.

Legally Blonde the musical gives you the impression that any dream in life can be accomplished with a little hard work, a fabulous wardrobe and to always remain positive no matter what hurdles live might throw you. Isn't that what we all wish life should really be about all the time?

The performance schedule is Wednesdays at 1:00 pm and 8:00pm, Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 4:30 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Ticket prices range from $40 to $48, plus tax and handling fees. Seniors and students receive $5.00 off a full price theater ticket on Wednesday at 1:00 pm, Saturday at 4:30 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings a limited number of Dinner and Theatre tickets are available for $55.00 per person plus handling fees. Dinner is at Kings Wharf Restaurant or the Fairfield Inn (based on dining availability). Free parking is available at all performances. To reserve tickets with a major credit card, call the Marriott Theater Box Office at 847.634.0200 or Visit for more information.


Tracy Pierre said...

The event seems to be fun! Judging by those photos, the actors look so cool and they seem to have performed really well. The theater is so elegant, and the movie truly deserves to be shown as a musical adaptation in such a wonderful venue.

Alecia Longsworth said...

I wish I could catch this next time! I love watching musical adaptations! The theater is, indeed, wonderful. That's the second reason why I love watching in them.