Recently Children’s Musical Theaterworks finished showing Legally Blonde. The theatre version retells the memorable movie but fails to replicate the grandeur of the story and lacks the important aspects of musical theatre.
The play, based on the movie and book by Amanda Brown, features Elle Woods (Mallory Parker), a young sorority sister who attempts to attend Harvard and become her ex-boyfriend’s ideal girlfriend. Along the way Elle is humiliated and mocked, but in the end she stays true to herself which helps her in tough situations.
Among the cast, two FCS students acted in the play: Naty Tewodros, ‘22, and Elliana Gonzalez ‘23. Tewodros and Gonzalez both acted as part of the ensemble. The musical is directed by Vanessa Gonzalez.
The movie version, featuring Reese Witherspoon, is a well known and classic movie. Unfortunately CMT’s theatre version pales in comparison. From the costumes to the singing the show was a disappointment, even though there was not much to look forward to after seeing Annie in December.
First of all, the choreography was mediocre. If the actors had the capabilities to perform properly then it would have been pretty good. But throughout the whole play the actors were not in-sync with each other and seemed to be in their own little bubble. Especially Elle, she wasn’t able to keep in time with the sorority sisters in the back and was always too late or too early. Although the one number that I did find enjoyable was the famous ‘bend and snap’ scene. Paulette (Katie Greene) really shined in this scene and was very comedic while Elle and the others seemed to fade into the background.
The following tweet features an article from Munroe Review which focuses on the postitives of the performance.
Only two chances left! Tonight at 730 pm and tomorrow at 2 pm. This show is a”So Much Better” than those other plans you had! https://t.co/zia2vnztDY
— CMTFresno (@CMTFresno) April 21, 2018
Combined with the poor dancing was similar singing. The numbers involving Elle and the sorority sisters seemed to be a tough spot for the cast. They could not sing or dance in time with each other. You could distinctly hear someone ending late in each scene. During the play Warner’s (Cordell Moon) voice was breathy and he seems to drag out the notes for too long. He was hard to understand and difficult to hear, even though I was sitting in the front row.
While the play was in progress there were frequent sound blips and screeches. This contributed to the disappointing sound of the tracks that were played. During the musical the background frequently changed colors. It was off-putting and kind of weird as patterns on the screen rotated during musical numbers and the colors in the background changed.
And because it was not already bad, the costumes were horrendous as well. Elle’s tights changed the color of her legs to be a dark brown instead of the pale color of her face. She also happened to be wearing fishnets which I only realized after she came of the stage for a musical number in the front of the room.
Except for the costumes that specifically matched a character or the matching outfits, the costumes seems like something you would find at a garage sale. Meanwhile during the entirety of the musical Elle is wearing a pair of grotesque bright pink heels. No matter what costume she is wearing or whether it matches, she is wearing those pink heels.
Although Legally Blonde was better than Annie the climax was lackluster and finished off with a mediocre end to a long buildup. Also, during the play characters would explicitly say “Legally Blonde” which was off-putting and seemed unnecessary.
During many of the numbers we could see the actor’s ear pieces come off and fly towards the back of the stage. And if it didn’t come off, it flopped around in front of the actor’s face.
Overall the play was a dud and did not entertain or excite me. It was boring, listless and contained too many musical numbers that did not live up to the high standard set by the movie. If it was not for the constant bleeping I probably would have fallen asleep.
For another theatre review, read: Local FPU production features familiar voice, acting. For another article, read: Econ fair 2018 nets seniors entrepreneurial lessons
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