I saw Legally Blonde: The Musical last year in Philly with a big group of people from Bryn Mawr (gotta love those discount tickets). I didn’t know what to expect — I thought the idea was ridiculous the first time I hear Legally Blonde had been made into a musical, but I wasn’t about to forgo the $20 ticket (including a bus directly there and back) to a musical, so I signed up anyway.
I stumbled over a clip of “Omigod You Guys” on YouTube the other day and remembered how catchy the songs are. It’s a little like Mamma Mia, in a way — Broadway fluff, high-energy and lots of fun, even if it’s not exactly a classic like Les Miz.
One thing I didn’t like about the musical, compared to the movie, was the characterization of Enid. She was actually one of my favorite characters in the movie (I know, such a surprise, right? The lesbian who got a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from Berkeley — who’d’ve thought I’d find her interesting?). While she was a little . . . intense . . . in the movie, she seemed fairly down-to-earth (and possibly more like anyone I’d know than, say, Elle). In the show, however, she was a total charicature of the militant lesbian. And I know that it was a musical, so everything is over the top, but it just didn’t sit right, especially since I liked the character in the movie so much. (I have a tendency to do that — form favorite characters from tiny side characters, like Elaine Hendrix’s character in Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion).
I did, however, like that the musical develops Elle and Emmett’s relationship, and it shows Elle putting real work into her studies (not just using her knowledge of haircare — what “any Cosmo girl would know”).
While neither the musical itself, nor its music, will ever replace the likes of Rent and Wicked in my heart, Legally Blonde was a surpisingly enjoyable show.