City Paper is not for tourists.
Legally Blonde, the air-headed piece of musical fluff that’s blown unaccountably (and just this side of unforgivably) into the nation’s premier cultural center, is pink. Pink as in cotton candy, the sort of too-sweet treat you wouldn’t want to partake of every day—or perhaps even at all—but that you can imagine a small child enjoying. At least until it gets all moist and viscous and gunks up her hair.
If you’re not a small child but are obligated to accompany one to this sticky, sweet entertainment at the Opera House, you’ll find the show provides a couple of mild distractions besides perky Reese Witherspoon look-alike Becky Gulsvig as Elle Woods. One song (I use the term loosely) about whether a pool boy is gay turns out to be unexpectedly deft. D.B. Bonds is engagingly natural as the guy Elle doesn’t realize she’s meant for, and Natalie Joy Johnson has a few amusing moments as a zaftig hairdresser. They’re fewer than the script thinks she’s having, but a few nonetheless.
By substituting rope-jumping and push-ups for dance moves, director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell seems determined to put the chore in choreography, but he keeps things popping along reasonably briskly. And if there’s not much the director can do about a trial scene that goes on forever—who said Harvard Law was gonna be fun, right?—he does turn out to be a real whiz with cutesy dog scenes. The pups get what are easily the biggest hands of the evening. Omigod you guys, they’re soooo cute! Consider yourself warned.