The hit movie from 2001 is all about a seemingly ditzy young woman who so wants to be taken seriously that she decides to go to law school. Powered largely by the comic talents of actress Reese Witherspoon, the film garnered big box office numbers (and spawned a sequel), so naturally Broadway — where producers today want to be taken seriously so they adopt popular properties from other media — turned it into a musical. And the wannabe did pretty well, rather like Elle Woods, Witherspoon’s character in the film. It scored seven Tony nominations in 2007 and continued the tale’s unlikely success story.
Now it’s on tour and doing well in every city where it lands — including Cincinnati for the next two weeks at the Aronoff Center. The role of Elle is played on tour by Becky Gulsvig, who was the Broadway understudy, and the cast includes a runner-up from the 2008 MTV series Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods. Rhiannon Hansen appears in the touring production as Margot, Elle’s best friend. Also in the cast are two dogs: a Chihuahua named Bruiser and an English bulldog, Rufus, who are Elle’s close companions. (It’s worth noting that both the onstage dogs and their traveling understudies were rescued from shelters by renowned stage and film animal trainer Bill Berloni.)
For better or worse, Legally Blonde is what’s making people laugh on Broadway and around America today — and I bet a lot of Cincinnatians will be entertained by this production. Tickets are $22.50-$69.50. Through May 23.
Find showtimes, buy tickets and read Rick Pender's review here.