With a dash of positivity and a whole lot of pink, Lee’s Summit West High School’s “Legally Blonde: The Musical” shows the audience what it means to believe in yourself, despite what others may say.
In the 2001 movie of the same name, the world was introduced to Elle Woods, a blonde college student who tries to win back her lawyer ex-boyfriend by going to Harvard Law School. In 2007, the show opened on Broadway as an uplifting musical about staying true to yourself. The musical received seven Tony nominations with Jerry Mitchell as director. As the show progresses, many of the people Elle encounters try to push her down, but she never gives up, leaving the musical an inspiration for women everywhere.
Courtney Shanholtzer gives an impeccable performance as Elle Woods. Shanholtzer performs with complexity throughout the show, displaying a presumably shallow girl, with depth that eventually comes to the surface. Dan Ratigan is fantastic as Emmett Forrest, a student at Harvard who helps Elle transform into the women she wants to be. Ratigan and Shanholtzer’s chemistry on stage is extremely realistic. The two sing together with excellent harmony and emotion.
Maddie Campbell is hilarious as Paulette Buonofuonte, an owner of a salon who helps Elle when she is convinced that she is done. Campbell sings with beautiful pitch and clarity in her solo Ireland. Conor Tierney is incredible as Kyle O’Boyle, Paulette’s love interest. Even with the few lines he has, Tierney leaves the audience exploding with laughter when he strides off the stage.
Topher Hockaday also gives an exceptional performance as Professor Callahan, Elle’s strict and tough professor. Chorus members do a fantastic job making every group number strong and beautifully sung.
Set designer Maddie Campbell’s hard work shows, with a set that fits the theme, while leaving it pleasing to look at. Costume designers Ashlee Briggs and Danielle Brunetti put the actors in outfits that fit the characters as well as the modern day time period. Stage Manager Tyler Malcolm does a flawless job making every set change quick and silent.
Although some lines and lyrics went unheard, the cast and technical staff or Lee’s Summit West High School’s Legally Blonde: The Musical” gives an overall outstanding performance.
Lee’s Summit West High School’s Legally Blonde: The Musical” shows its audience that no matter what challenges may hold you back, if you press on, you can always find your way.