Photo Courtesy The Hult Center

Extralegal Rendition

An updated ‘Legally Blonde’ comes to town as a musical

Legally Blonde, The Musical, which ran at the Hult Center Feb. 3-5, was not what I was expecting. I’m a big fan of the movie, and I thought the musical would replicate the movie scene-by-scene in musical form.

I was wrong.

This traveling Broadway show took a modern twist on the 2001 film. Snapchat, Tik Tok and other social media outlets were mentioned throughout the show. Also, political references to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and women’s rights were included. The variation was refreshing and invigorating. 

The comedy from the movie carried over into the musical. When I say I could not stop laughing, I mean it. From the dramatic characters and humorous scenes to the continuous conflicts, I was amused every step of the way.

There was never a dull moment.

Hannah Bonnett filled the role of Elle Woods, the ditzy blonde main character who took on challenges left and right. She didn’t just play Woods, she became Woods with all of the beloved characteristics that I and other Legally Blonde fans adore. Through the process of winning back her ex-boyfriend and studying law at Harvard, the character developed and matured. 

The vocals and dance moves demonstrated throughout the show were impressive. I even gasped when one character did a backflip while singing. 

Elle’s love interest, Emmett, played by Aathaven Tharmarajah, spent quite a lot of time together building a connection, which helped portray their chemistry on stage. 

James Oblak played the ex-boyfriend, Warner, who spurred Elle’s foray into law school. He accurately depicted ignorant and condescending features as his character in the movie did. I was caught off guard when Warner was the one to think Elle was sleeping her way to the top in law school, like a true “Marilyn.” He refers to this iconic and historical celebrity when describing Elle during their break-up early on in the show because he needs a “Jackie,” someone who’s serious. 

In the film, it is Vivienne who confronts Elle on her sexual encounter with Professor Callahan. Elle quits it all, and it is a different professor who brings her back to law school, but in this show, Vivienne (Lea Sevola) talks Elle into returning. So, it took me a second to process the alteration.

Though the show didn’t follow the movie exactly, it didn’t need to. On its own, it provides entertainment for all. The Hult Center for the Performing Arts succeeded in putting the show on with excellent sound and lighting.

I highly recommend this musical for anyone who loves Legally Blonde and anyone looking for a good laugh or two.

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