Legally Blonde review   Leave a comment

Theatre Review: Legally Blonde

The Riverbend Youth Company, which usually does their shows at the Amato Center at the Boys and Girls Club Souhegan in Milford, New Hampshire, performed Legally Blonde for April. The plot of the musical was adapted from the 2001 Novel by Amanda Brown & the movie by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. The musical score and lyrics were written by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Elle Woods is the blondie and main character for the musical, and it tells the story of her going from a laid back Southern Californian to a Harvard law school student in an attempt to win back her boyfriend named Warner. It’s not easy for Elle due to other people mocking her. Along the way she finds how her knowledge help others in need and in a murder trial, she defends successfully against Brooke Wyndham, the exercise queen. True to her own self, Elle’s pink clothes and attitude makes this musical something to look into.
Robin Lacroix has directed several shows in the past at the Amato Center, so credit goes to her for this production. Kim Whitehead, the chorus director for the Souhgean Valley Chorus, also was music director for the show. She was one of three piano players along with Karina Bertrand & Blake Leister. The cast of Legally Blonde consisted of all teenagers from high schools around the area such as Souhgean and Milford. Most of the main characters were seniors, and for them it would be their last show at the Amato Center for Riverbend Youth.
Alyssa Lederhos made a good role model for the main character. She wore her blonde wig she used for when she was Miss Adelaide for Guys and Dolls a couple weekends earlier at Souhgean, her high school. She singing voice was good in songs such as So Much Better, Legally Blonde, and a few others. When she had to act surprised, her reactions weren’t quite as strong as heard in the soundtrack version of the musical. Both Liam Conway and Michael Robicheau were good fits for their characters Warner and Emmett, and Megan Hammes was seen as a stubborn foil named Vivienne. It was the first time she played a bad character instead of loving, because Megan is a lovely brunette girl with good taste in clothes no matter what the occasion. But in addition to those four who stood up, Hannah Whitney’s character as Brooke Wyndam, the fitness queen, wasn’t quite as fit and in shape as a real health guru, but her voice was all right. She wore orange prison pants and a T-Shirt, along with a sparkling top during the Whipped into Shape song. The Greek Chorus made good back-ups while Elle was singing, and they consisted of girls who have been in ensembles and back-ups in previous shows. Hannah Cohen is one of them, while her older sister Naomi, who played the Judge, sings at the Souhgean Valley Chorus along with Bryan Whittier, who portrayed DA James Riley. Paulette, played by Anastasia Feraco, looked like a hipster, but still made her voice strong in singing roles. The ensembles in the musical numbers danced and sung very well.
The set for Legally Blonde was not much, even in the way of how the Riverbend Youth Company designs it. Mostly it was extra neon lights that have been used when the Amato Center has done other dance shows, and the Pumpkin Fest Talent Show, along with bleachers in front of a changing screen for different sets. There were a few added features such as Elle’s bed, the hair salon, and the trailer used for Dewey’s role. A couple songs, including the finale, had the main cast dancing to the beat of the piano and bass music pop style, while on the screen there were some flashing circle patterns that looked like something during the psychedelic era from the 1960’s and 1970’s. Instead of changing sets to look realistic from Harvard school and where Elle was, the stage looked more like something seen on a dance show or Disney Channel. Overall, Legally Blonde is still worth seeing, especially since Elle wears pink and loves to carry her little dog around, and the dogs used weren’t real, but mechanically moved and there were some barking sounds used. The seniors will move on to bigger and better things in the future, but hopefully will be seen around again in the near future.

Music: 9: Kim Whitehead’s directing the orchestra makes good vibrating sound during the songs, and the different tones on the keyboards can make for different timing and scene changes. The songs from Legally Blonde all have good taste. Favorites: Omigod You Guys, What You Want, Ireland, Chip On My Shoulder, So Much Better, Take It Like a Man, Legally Blonde, Find My Way
Dance: 7: Basic, a few good dancers dressed as exercisers and cheerleaders had good bending power, but overall not too bad for everyone
Set Design: 5: Not a whole lot of props for different scenes, bleachers facing the audience during law class and the trial, too many neon lights and a projection screen for different scenes, music scenes sometimes had the screen with changing circle effects like psychedelic 60’s and 70’s era. Alyssa’s father did the set design
Acting: 7: The whole cast consisting of high school students, Alyssa Lederhos, Megan Hammes, Michael Robicheau, Liam Conway, Katy Osterholtz, the Cohen sisters, and Bryan Whitter, were among the most well-known, but other teenagers made for good roles. Most of them wore basic modern clothes in public places, and Alyssa’s pink outfits set off her blonde wig very well.

Overall: 8: Good choice for a musical to send the seniors a fond farewell, along with the younger teenagers because for some, it’s their favorite.

Review by Matt Smith 

Side Note from Janine:  I have worked on many shows through out the past couple years through both PTA and Riverbend Youth Company with quite a few of this years seniors. OMG you guys I am going to miss doing shows with you but have no doubt in my mind you are off to do fabulous things in college. Love to Megan, Alyssa, Mike , Hannah, John & Annie. 


Posted April 20, 2015 by theatretechdiva in Riverbend Youth Company

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