Let’s get right to the point. It is as silly and bubblegum as you thought it would be. Those question marks you included the first time you said it out loud, ”Legally Blonde- The Musical- At the Kennedy Center-” Pretty much justified.
This is not Frost/Nixon.
But here’s the thing. It’s the holidays. The economy is in freefall, folks are more like to get a layoff notice than a bonus check and the closest we’ve gotten to a blanket of snow in the Capitol region has been a flurry of sales flyers from desperate retailers. Perhaps more than needing a little Christmas we need a little hot pink fluff.
Based on but not slavish to the Reese Witherspoon movie that quickened the pulses of tween girls and gay men everywhere, this Legally Blonde is a fairy tale about the happiness to be found when you truly follow your heart. That, and a pink rhinestone band leader costume and back-up dance squad can apparently get you into Harvard Law.
All cards on the table, Legally Blonde can also be as annoying as you would think it could be. Even title blonde Elle Woods (Becky Gulsvig) turns at one point to the audience to admit, ”Omigod — I’m even irritating myself.” Some of the ensemble’s female singers unrelentingly push their voices so far into the upper ranges that they become completely unintelligible. Sure they’re supposed to be chirpy sorority sisters, but the effect amounts to nothing if Elle’s Chihuahua Bruiser is the only one able to understand the lyrics.
Still, Legally Blonde, The Musical is a brightly sequined holiday package. For some it will deserve only a humbug while others will declare it their favorite thing under the tree.