REVIEW: "Legally Blonde Jr., The Musical" — Morgan-Wixson Theatre

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

“Legally Blonde Jr.” — So Much Fun It Should be Illegal!

Exploding on the stage with memorable songs and dynamic dances, beginning with the rousing, high energy number “Omigod You Guys,” Harvard's beloved blonde takes the spotlight at Morgan-Wixson Theatre by glittery pink storm.

In this upbeat adaptation of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hit film and award-winning Broadway musical, “Legally Blonde,” a fabulously fun journey awaits of self-empowerment and expanding horizons.

As their first show of the 2019-20 Y.E.S. season, designed for younger thespians, Director Anne Gesling and Producers Tracy Saltzman and Miriam Billington brings “Legally Blonde Jr., The Musical” to the popular Santa Monica theatre, set to run from November 9th through the 14th. Based on the original novel by Amanda Brown, with book by Heather Hach and music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, each scene contains a showy, vivid, riot of color, lionizing a spunky, effervescent young woman who uses academia as a springboard to romance.

Headlined by the always graceful and bubbly, blonde bombshell Daisy Billington (“42nd Street,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”), the musical will take you from the sorority house to Harvard, and on to the halls of justice, featuring women’s brightest heroine, Elle Woods. Elle’s a Gemini with a double Capricorn moon, a Sigma Sweetheart, President of Delta Nu sorority and also founded the charity “Shop for a Cause.”

Ms. Billington captures Elle’s innate sweetness and adorable charm perfectly in the show and has a phenomenal soprano voice along with the ability to pull off a lot of quick-witted humor. Her rapid rise to attorney extraordinaire may be a bit fanciful in realistic terms, but all the same, you’ll be rooting for this “believe in yourself” Malibu Barbie as she tackles stereotypes, preppy snobs and lecherous tutors in pursuit of her dreams. With equal parts hilarious and heart-warming and boasting a spunky, talented ensemble (who seem to drink a lot of Red Bull), this show is so much fun it should be illegal!

It’s almost impossible to believe MGM’s "Legally Blonde" came out more than 18 years ago. It was 2001 when Elle Woods decided she was going to try to win back the man who dumped her by attending law school with him at Harvard. Yes, we all know it's much harder for the rest of us to get into Harvard Law School than it is for the charmed Elle Woods, but to ask her to live by the same laws of physics as the rest of us would rob the show of its sparkle. And this was never supposed to be a realistic law school environment anyway. After all, we are talking about the famous Elle, her designer duds, her love of manicures, her bonhomie, her plucky determination and her "growth" as a person. So what do you call a blonde with half a brain? Gifted!

The charmingly caddish Warner Huntington III (personified by Lucas Wurman, “Rent,” “Spring Awakening”) sees the sparkle, but it's not enough. As the scion of a wealthy East Coast family, he ditches sorority queen Elle just when she thinks he’s going to propose, because he's headed to Harvard Law and needs a more "serious" girlfriend. "I need a Jackie, not a Marilyn," he tells the aghast Elle. Dumped but not completely down, she decides she'll go to Harvard, too. I mean, like, how hard could it be to get in, right?

Bowled over by her application, and with the contingent 4.0 GPA in her major (fashion merchandising) in question, Harvard gets more than it bargains for when she decides to forgo the required essay and do a very pink flash mob razzle-dazzle essay in song as she bursts into the Harvard admission offices, backed by her own squad of cheerleaders. “Pink is my signature color,”