Legally Blonde to tickle Omaha pink

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By Cartia Mazzoni

Recently described as the “the funniest new musical of the year” by Pat Collins of WWOR-TV, “Legally Blonde: The Musical” arrives on Omaha’s doorstep April 27.The Seattle Times has described the up-and-coming musical as “a sweet, pink frothy concoction, more sugar than spice, more bubble gum than pink champagne, which delivers nonetheless an evening of solid entertainment.”

Based on the popular movie of the same name, “Legally Blonde” is the story of Elle Woods, an admired Miami sorority princess and fashion design student.

The story begins when Elle’s boyfriend, Warner, dumps her for someone more serious. He claims he is looking for a Jackie, not a Marilyn. Elle decides it is time to put down her much-used credit card and hit the books to show her ex-boyfriend she is more brains than beauty.

In her quest to win back her ex-boyfriend, Elle follows him to Harvard only to discover the pleasures of using her brain without giving up the advantages of being blonde and beautiful.

“Legally Blonde: The Musical” has been playing at London’s Savoy Theater. It has seen large, enthusiastic and female-dominated audiences embracing its brand of frivolous fun.

British and American critics were largely won over by the outlandishly funny comedy.

“This musical is so packed with pleasures it should be called illegally blonde,” the Financial Times wrote.

The part of Elle Woods will be played by Becky Gulsvig. Before being cast as Elle Woods, Gulsvig had appeared in Broadway’s “Hairspray” and “Peter Pan.”

“I can certainly relate to Elle’s situation, because as a young woman you constantly have to prove yourself,” Gulsvig recently said.

Gulsvig said that while Elle and the Chihuahua attract legions of young girls to “Legally Blonde,” the brothers, dads and boyfriends who get dragged along have just as good a time. She attributes that to the show’s underlying message.

“The story is all about being true to yourself,” Gulsvig said. “That’s not a simple thing to do or to believe in. And while ‘Legally Blonde’ does give people a chance to escape, laugh and have a good time, to have that message in such a fun package is really great.”

The director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell and a high energy score by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin give a huge ensemble of singers and dancers lots of spirited songs and snappy, athletic dance moves that add sparkle.

Ultimately the musical asks its audience to hold a mirror to the question: can a girl really have the brains, the brawn and the Wonder Bra?

“Legally Blonde” will run from April 27 to May 2 at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha. The show’s weeknight performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., while weekend performances begin at 8 p.m. There is a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday and Sunday.

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