fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Legally Blonde

I went to see Legally Blonde at the Kennedy Center this afternoon. I have to admit that I wasn't really all that enthusiastic about seeing it, but I feel semi-obliged to support touring companies of Broadway shows making their way here. I had liked the movie and I had liked the one other work by the Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin I'd seen. (They were responsible for the music and lyrics for The Mice, one of the three one-act musicals that made up 3hree.) I'm not sure why I was doubtful that the combination would work, but I was.

Alas, I was right and was unimpressed. Most of the songs did little to advance the story. There were a few that worked for me, e.g. "Blood in the Water," which did a fine job of establishing Professor Callahan's character. There were some witty lyrical moments in "Ireland" and in "There! Right There!" which would be wittier if the whole "Is he gay or European?" bit weren't so offensive. But most of the production numbers went on for too long without being either musically or visually interesting. Jerry Mitchell's choreography was merely tedious (and excessively vertical - almost all of the dancing consisted largely of people jumping up and down).

This particular performance had a lot of understudies on stage, including a few announced at the start (in addition to slips inserted into the program). So I won't single out any performers, largely because I'm not even sure who was playing whom. Nobody struck me as either particularly wonderful or particularly awful anyway.

Overall, if you go to the theatre in order to support there being theatre, you'll survive. But it's not worth going out of one's way for either. This isn't painful - merely mediocre.

I'll also note that there were a lot of young women (sorority girls no doubt) in the audience who seemed to like the show better than I did. So maybe this was just a case of demographic mismatch. But I'm hardly the target demographic for, say, Avenue Q and I loved that show.
Tags: musicals, theatre

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