Review: Animated performance sends important message

The Newtonite

by Julia Moss

“Omigod, you guys!” may be the most famous line of “Legally Blonde the Musical.”

This exclamation opens the show and embodies the gleeful performance Theatre Ink put on as its annual musical.

Directed and choreographed by award-winning director Larry Sousa, “Legally Blonde” captured the excitement, energy and humor that are so fundamental to the storyline.

The musical is centered around Elle Woods, played by senior Emily Paley, a perky and ambitious young woman determined to defy the stereotypes associated with her blond hair.

The show goes up tomorrow tonight at 7:30 in the auditorium and will be performed through Sunday. More information is available at theatreink.net.

Elle Woods is blessed with good looks, a beautiful home in Malibu, a pack of supportive friends and the seemingly perfect boyfriend, Warner, played by sophomore Raphael Weikart.

Everything in Elle’s life has always gone her way until Warner breaks up with her the night she expected him to propose. Warner explains that he needs to move on to someone who is “less of a Marilyn and more of a Jackie.”

A fashion merchandiser always decked out in pink, Elle is not “serious” enough for Harvard-bound Warner. However, rather than giving up on her dream of marrying him, Elle uses her irresistible charm to land herself a spot in Warner’s Harvard Law School class.

Even in a show that could sooner be a fairytale than a true story, Paley brought Elle to life and made the character relatable. Sporting a shiny blond hairdo and a different pink outfit every scene, she even looked the part.

With every song and dance, the audience became more and more attached to Paley’s Elle.

Her posse of sorority girls, the Delta Nu’s, performed frequently with Elle, singing and dancing throughout the show. The dancers were always amazingly synchronized, and the choreography was quite creative.

Margot, Serena and Pilar, the lead Delta Nu’s, played by sophomore Juliet Roll, junior Ilana Ruben and freshman Sasha MacDonald, respectively, were particularly impressive. They really took on the spirit of sorority girls, and were talented dancers.

Elle’s first day at Harvard is one of the most comical scenes in the musical as it relentlessly pokes fun at the university.

Enter three stereotypical Harvard overachievers, Aaron, Padamadan and Enid. Arriving on stage, Aaron, played by sophomore Ezra Dulit-Greenberg, immediately announces his impressive credentials to all who are willing to listen. He declares that he is a Fullbright scholar who spent his time writing financial software codes until that became to easy for him.

He sings: “But that was a challenge I’ve outgrown. Now, how many yachts can one man own?”

True to his conceited and entitled character, Dulit-Greenberg strutted instead of walked, and spoke each word in an exaggerated way. He was hilarious, as were sophomore Maddy Waters and freshman Peter Diamond, who played Enid and Padamadan, respectively.

These three ingenious students, only a small sample of Elle’s competition at Harvard, make it apparent to the audience that she is hopeless–achieving at this school is beyond her.

Maybe Elle will succeed in seducing Warner, but she will never accomplish anything at Harvard. After all, she was accepted there only after practically hypnotizing the interviewers with an extravagant dance involving her entire posse of Delta Nu girls.

However, Elle surprises us. Instead of returning home to sunny Malibu in defeat, she takes Harvard by storm, earning a prestigious internship and later single-handedly winning a difficult murder trial.

Elle puts both her legal skills and her girly qualities to use when the defendant turns out to be a fellow Delta Nu sister, Brooke Wyndham.

Played by senior Maddie Cetlin, Brooke, a hard-core aerobics instructor, is a dramatically exaggerated version of a sorority girl. Even though doing so would save her from life in jail, Brooke refuses to release her alibi because it involves publicly admitting that she had lipo-suction.

Cetlin adopted the fierce attitude of an exercise guru. In fact, she was so convincing that she was almost frightening, as her character is supposed to be.

Thanks to Elle, Brooke never has to confess to her surgery in court.

Elle wins the case in no time.

By the end of the show, much to the surprise of the audience, Elle is successful on all fronts at Harvard. She is the valedictorian of her class with a promising career ahead.

Warner has now fallen for her all over again, and Elle’s response is “Thank you, but no.” She turns him down to marry Emmett, played a junior Chris D’Agostino, a great friend who has been there for her throughout her Harvard career.

While “Legally Blonde” is a funny and lighthearted production, full of pink scenery, hair talk and bubbly songs and dances, it reminds us never to rely on stereotypes.

Elle Woods, at first a seemingly typical dumb blond, is able to overcome all stereotypes to become known as a smart and successful lawyer.

Ultimately, “Legally Blonde” is outstanding, full of life and energy. Leaving viewers feeling happy or even ambitious, the show is a must-see.