Sunday, November 23, 2014
Amanda Warren the director of Legally Blonde The Musical invited me to the historic State Theater to sketch the show. I've seen the movie, "Legally Blonde", but never the musical. The theater is located in Eustis which turned out to be quite an adventurous drive north. The lobby was quite crowded when I arrived. It turned out that the computer system was down and so staff was shuffling through stacks of tickets while patrons waited. Amanda got on stage to introduce the show. I was surprised by the high cost to purchase the rights to stage the show. Thankfully the house was sold out.
The musical was fun and light hearted. Elle played by Meredith Pughe pursued her man, but in the end realized it was more important to pursue her dreams. The multi level set designed by Tom Mangieri and Scott Fattizzi was quite impressive with an entire wall that could rotate to morph the stage into a courtroom. The upbeat musical direction was by Andy Matchett off stage. Bruiser, Katie Scarlett Baker, the tiny chihuahua seemed like a dear in the headlights while Rufus, Zoe Carpenter, the basset hound stole his scenes by exploring the stage to comic effect.
It is surprisingly easy to be swept away in this valley girl's rise to self awareness. The music was fun and the show moved along at a fast pace. It was an incredibly ambitious production with over forty actors involved. The show proves that small community theaters are already thriving as the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center opens its doors in downtown Orlando for the first time.