A commendable trait of any live performing venue is professional consistency. Aisle Say has attended the opening nights of New Candlelight Theatre for at least 3 years. The undeviating norm has been effervescent casts who bleed for their craft, challenging and inventive choreography, innovative sets (on an unforgiving smallish stage), colorful costumes and cheerful servers who themselves are cast members.
NCT has established a coterie of diverse triple threat performers that the audience does not mind seeing time and again. However, with LEGALLY BLOND, there are very few recognizable faces. This new group of talent is generated by Director/Choreographer Dann Dunn, the dynamic dance dude with national credits. In fact, he worked with the original Broadway cast and crew of LEGALLY BLOND in 2007.
As is commented on in the show, every tragedy needs a Greek Chorus. As everyone of us with a modicum of empathy acknowledges, there is a singular tragedy of being blond!
Elle Woods (Taylor Elise Rector) faces this dread onus every morning looking in the mirror. However, there is no more loyal or faithful member of Delta Nu Sorority than Elle. And, once she is at Harvard Law, no one with a greater moral compass. I suppose there could be a more wonderful and versatile actor to sing and dance this character, I simply cannot think of one. She is dynamite. She explodes from the sorority house in the first number and keeps the taper lit the entire show.
It would be facile to say she alone is worth the price of admission (and the best dinner/theatrical value in the state), but that is not the case. This entire cast is superb. It is impossible not to fall in love with the movie. It is equally inconceivable not to love this production.
Paulette (Jennie Knackstedt), owner of the hair salon, sings a plaintive "Ireland" about an unrequited love. Then the man of her dreams - the dude with the great package - Kyle (Jonathan Elliot Coarsey) comes through the door. That revelation leads to a rousing and drop dead funny dance number, "Bend and Snap".
The stage production follows the movie almost faithfully. Brooke Wyndham (the incredibly athletic and high kicking Kelly Boeckle) is accused of murdering her husband and Elle's law firm must defend.
The music and lyrics are melodic and creative. One of the tunes "Blood In The Water" is recitative and expertly recited by Callahan (Fernando Gonzalez).
The courtroom song "(Is He) Gay or European" opens wide the stereotypes and prejudices that many retain with the two mentioned groups. Yet it too is consistent in its destruction of yet another shibboleth...that of being blond.
Through May 19 NCTstage.org 302.475.2313