Petty in Pink

Despite all of the amazing art that I come across every day, most of you know that I still love me some Broadway musicals. I say "despite" because no matter how good the book, the score, the costumes and the scenery, Broadway musicals still feel like a guilty pleasure when compared to some of the other things I like, such as Shakespeare. Or Shaw. Or Mad Men.

Not that I can stomach just anything you put on the stage, mind you. Last month's Xanadu, for example, was a travesty from start to finish. But you knew that already. And movies that get made into musicals tend to have a rough go; Young Frankenstein closed after only a few months.. although (here comes that guilty pleasure thing again), I enjoyed it for what it was. So what about the latest offering from Broadway Across America: Legally Blonde, The Musical?

I saw Legally Blonde on Broadway a few years ago after calling to ask a friend which of a few remaining productions that were up on the TKTS boards I should see. He recommended this, and I liked it just fine. It could be, in fact, one of the best meaningless productions I have ever seen.

But I couldn't muster the energy to see it again the other night despite the Opera's generous offer of complimentary tickets, so I offered them to Rob who took his 14-year old son Taylor. I told Rob that he'd have to write a review for this blog to justify the comps, careful to explain the ethics of these situations and that we as all-powerful THEATER CRITICS are under no obligation to actually enjoy the piece. Rob hasn't been inspired quite enough to put together a thorough narrative of his experience, but he does offer these quick observations below, which, given the short attention span of most musical-goers anyway, should suffice just fine.

So without further ado: Rob's and Taylor's Excellent Review:

The best way to describe Tuesday night’s performance of Legally Blonde, the Musical is a pink parade of silly fun.

Becky Gulsvig’s performance as Elle Woods was very strong, and Natalie Joy Johnson’s performance as Paulette was brilliant. But the male leads Jeff Mclean (Warner) and DB Bonds (Emmett) paled in comparison.

The show moved at rapid fire pace including multiple seamless set changes.

The songs were fun. The dancing was great.

The dogs were very well trained, especially Rufus who would bark on queue without a verbal command.

And there you have it. I couldn't have said it better myself. And thank goodness for well-trained dogs, right? If substantive reviews of less-than-substantive productions are more your style, check out Grant Butler's fine piece.

Legally Blonde closes Sunday.

UPDATE at 5:20PM: Blogorrhea just posted some complementary compliments as well. Read Mead.