Legally Blonde cast

Legally Blonde The Musical tells the story of pretty-in-pink Californian Elle Woods, a sorority girl president who follows her love to Harvard Law School, where she discovers more to life than parties and fashion magazines. This colourful, summer Theatre Under the Stars production is made even more fun by being held outdoors at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl.

The musical is based on both Amanda Brown’s novel and the 2001 Golden Globe-nominated film of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon.

Legally Blonde cast

A very pink stage set kicks off the evening: UCLA’s Delta Nu sorority resembles a life-size pink doll house. The girls and Elle dance around in the opening number, “Omigod You Guys”, setting the mood for a light, comedic evening. When Elle (Breanne Arrigo) meets her beau, Warner (Peter Cummins) in a restaurant, her thoughts revolve around a marriage proposal. Once she realizes he’s instead leaving her for a more serious, professionally-minded young lady, she’s devastated, yet determined to win his love back.

In the next scenes, the pink, sunny California sets are swapped out for large, stately wooden doors and a classroom. Elle is admitted to Harvard Law School and even winds up in the same course as Warner, but she quickly learns that it’s all about business and winning the love of the teacher, Callahan (a wonderful performance by Warren Kimmel) in order to score one of four coveted internships.

As the story evolves, Elle finds she has a hidden talent in law, and this further escalates “Legally Blonde” into the hero. As it would turn out, one of the trials brought to Callahan and his interns is that of a fitness guru (and former Delta Nu girl); Elle has just the magic needed to bring the alibi out of her during a session the two share – along with the Delta Nu chant.

I won’t divulge more details here. Suffice it to say, if you have teenage daughters, this is the show to take them to. For the adults, tight choreography (Valerie Easton, also the show’s director), a detail-rich series of sets (Vancouver’s talented production designer Drew Facey gets bragging rights here), and entertaining lyrics will make it worth your while to enjoy a night out in the park.

Legally Blonde cast

Breanne knocks it out of the park, playing the perfect yuppy princess, complete with arm pooch Milo, an adorable mini chihuahua that knows his cues. While still trying to win the love of her self-absorbed beau, her newfound law school buddy, Emmett (Scott Walters, who fits perfectly into the tattered corduroy jacket and shy geek role) winds up being her strongest supporter through it all.

Cathy Willmot convincingly plays hairdresser Paulette, complete with blue-collar East coast accent. Her character also transforms as she learns the ropes (“Bend and Snap”) and eventually meets the man of her dreams.

One of the best moments for me was “Whipped Into Shape”, not necessarily a fabulous song lyrically, however the choreography is top notch, as the song moves the dancers from working out in a gym, to morphing into a set with the four interns in an office setting, and finishing off in prison, as the dancers wind up in orange inmate suits.

Musical Director Danny Balkwill keeps the show humming with his orchestra in the pit below.

Legally Blonde The Musical plays in repertory with How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying through August 17. Visit the Theatre Under the Stars website for more information and tickets.

All photos by Tim Matheson.


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