Powder & Wig’s ‘Blonde’ has more fun
“Omigod you guys!” Legally Blonde: The Musical performed last weekend in Strider Theater by students in the campus group Powder and Wig was amazing. The peppy and upbeat musical based on the hit 2001 Reese Witherspoon movie of the same name had the entire audience laughing, tapping their feet and continuously clapping throughout the two-hour show. Even more impressive was the fact that show was put together in only nine days, as this year’s selection for the annual Powder and Wig one-week musical.
The show, directed by Christine Kashian ’14, featured Emilie Jensen ’15 as the lead character Elle Woods, the blonde sorority girl who follows love to Harvard Law School after getting her heart broken and discovers her own intelligence and independence along the way.
Jensen was a crowd pleaser and deserving of the lead role, with the vocals and experience to take the show through the 16 songs in which she was featured. Her upbeat attitude as the character was funny and thoughtful, and the moments where a more serious tone was required were vulnerable and touching.
The male leads included Brendan Leonard ’16 as Elle’s ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III, Tyler Parrott ’13 as Emmett Forest, Elle’s supportive and goofy friend turned flame and William Bonney ’16 as Professor Callahan, the snarky and tough law professor. Leonard captured Warner’s arrogance, Parrott was sweet and a good singer and Bonney was the right mix of conceited and clever. Ramon Arriaga ’16 was also a crowd favorite as delivery-man, Kyle.
While every featured role impressed, the casting of two characters was particularly impeccable, with Kendall Hatch ’13, as Paulette Bonafonte, the spunky hairdresser with the heavy Boston accent who reminds Elle to stay true to herself, and Evangeline Condakes ’13 as Brooke Wyndham, the exercise queen that Elle must defend in court.
Hatch’s singing was one of the highlights of the show, as was her inhabiting of the role. Hatch’s accent was so spot-on that it was possible to believe you were actually hearing Oref, the actress who played Paulette in the original Broadway cast. Hatch’s character was also a refreshing dose of sarcasm and toughness in a play centered around sorority levels of cheerfulness.
Condakes was another amazing contribution to the show, leading a number through which she sang and jump-roped simultaneously, without a single error. The comedy and style made famous by Ali Larter in the film shone through Condakes’ performance and was made particularly clear during the scenes with Jensen (with whom there was a great chemistry) and dysfunctional court scenes.
Lindsay DiBartholomeo ’14’s choreography stood out in “Bend and Snap,” which had the audience falling out of their seats with laughter, and “What You Want,” in which the Delta Nu “Greek Chorus” stole the show. Credit should also be given to Carli Jaff ’16 as Serena, Alex Jackson ’15 as Margot and Alexis Atkinson ’15 as Pilar, for their hysterically provocative dance moves and perfect comedic timing.
Another great aspect of the play was the lighting, done by Michaelina Deneka ’13, the lighting director, and her team. The green during “Ireland” captured the mood of the scene, and the fading in of the red lighting background during “Blood in the Water” was quite funny and captured the essence of the song.
Credit must also be given to the other members of the production team consisting of Will Norton ’13 as musical director, Gian Perani ’14 as the technical director, Tyler Harley ’15, as the sound director, Emily Shankle ’13 as the costume director, Rachel Hawkins ‘15 as stage manager and Julie Maclean ’15 and Erin Hoover ’15 as assistant stage managers.
Legally Blonde: The Musical was a highly anticipated campus event, selling-out its Friday evening performance. Halfway through the bows, the entire audience was on its feet applauding the cast for their nearly two-hour long show.