Presented by Queen’s Musical Theatre, Legally Blonde: The Musical is an engaging story about success, femininity and embracing who you are in society as well as in your profession.
With a cast made up of larger-than-life characters, like the incurable romantic Paulette Bonafonte (played by Kaila Muzzin) and catchy dance numbers like “Ireland” and “There! Right There”, Legally Blonde delves into what it means to be a feminine woman in a profession that’s predominantly masculine.
The musical is divided into two main acts and follows the character of Elle Woods, played by Mariana Paz-Soldan. The journey begins as she impetuously decides to give up her high society, Malibu life in order to follow her ex-boyfriend Warner, played by Sebastien Darcel-Sinclair, to the prestigious Harvard Law School in the name of love.
Despite the lack of chemistry between the actors playing Elle and Warner onstage, Elle’s pain and heartbreak is beautifully shown to the audience in the moving number “Serious” after Warner breaks up with her.
But love doesn’t make things easier for Elle once she gets to Harvard Law — she faces the stigma that follows women in masculine professions, which results in them not being taken seriously.
This is demonstrated in Elle’s interaction with her professor Callahan (Callum Lurie) in the classroom, when he kicks her out of class after insinuating that she doesn’t belong because she isn’t “serious” enough.
In the end, the musical successfully demonstrates that women can excel in traditionally masculine professions and retain their femininity at the same time.
This is shown at the play’s close — Elle bursts into court in her pink suit and bubbly attitude and still wins the court case, as well as the love of fellow law student Emmett Forrest (Liam Collins).
But the question of femininity in the musical isn’t just explored in relation to the law profession, but also in relation to society as a whole.
The musical act “Bend and Snap” clearly tackles this issue — Paulette Bonafonte is taught to accept her femininity and embrace it. The end result is that she finds the love she had desperately been looking for.
In terms of vocal ability and the more technical aspects of the production, the voice that stood out the most was that of Muzzin, playing Bonafonte. Despite not playing the lead, her soulful and impressive vocal range in “Ireland” and “Bend and Snap” inspired thunderous applause from the audience.
Legally Blonde: The Musical proved to be a high-quality work that managed to successfully delve into and explore questions of feminism that are becoming more and more a part of contemporary society.
Legally Blonde: The Musical plays Jan. 13-16 at 8 p.m. at the Rotunda Theatre in Theological Hall.
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