When I walked into the Twin Cities Community Theatre (recently renamed and originally the Coon Rapids Community Players)  production of "Legally Blond: The Musical" at the the Sabes Jewish Community Center, I'll admit I was a bit nervous. There are musicals out there that if a theatre plans to do, they better make sure they have the time, resources and cast to not only do it, but do it well. There is no way to hide inexperience singers, a bad set or just plain bad acting with a show like this. It's also based on an iconic movie, originally starring Reese Witherspoon. The musical does a fantastic job of adapting the movie to the stage with our favorite lines (What like it's hard?) and turning moments like the "bend-and-snap" into a hilarious number.

Cast and Crew (taken from TCCT Facebook)
However the two biggest things, in my opinion, you need is a phenomenal actress to play Elle Woods (Spoiler Alert: Mary Burchill played Elle and was phenomenal) and solid vocals for the entire cast especially the greek chorus girls. I will say there were many times in which the ensemble/greek chorus felt hesitant in many of the numbers in which they came in rather sheepishly and then sang louder after. However that being said they were often in tune and sounded great especially the three leading greek chorus girls Serena, Margot, and Pilar (Tynelle Marschall, Brogan Deblieck and Haley Sister) were total scene stealers. They sounded great and always brought in so much energy and kept that energy through out the entire production despite having some very intense choreography. A crowd favorite was also Paulette (Anne Brown) the crazy and hilarious hair stylist that Elle befriends. She did a great job on honoring the role of Paulette (from the movie) while at the same time making the character her own. The females, owned this show while honestly the males were a little lack luster and not very memorable compared to the force that the woman brought on stage.

Rehearsal Photo
While I was quite impressed with the vocals that these performers had, I was a little disappointed with the set. Maybe it was a directors choice however some parts just did not make sense to me. For example when Elle was in her dorm room there was a door, a bed, a rolling set piece with a vanity and chair (all with plenty of props and detail) however while she was studying for the LSAT or meeting her classmates in the courtyard at Harvard Law, there was only a bench or chair. Nothing else. It seemed strange to me that some scenes and so many pieces to show the audience where they were while others lacked really anything. I also found some tiny things in the set to be unfinished. Many times doors simply would not stay shut and opened during the middle of a scene. Another thing that I continuously would zone in on was the fact that the door in the salon was an empty door frame. There was no screen in the door, glass or even some plastic or plexiglass. I often saw actors stick their hand through it while they opened or closed the door and that really takes you out of the show and the world that the actors have created.

Overall it was an enjoyable performance. The music, book and characters are funny and charming and I look forward to seeing their next performance as the Twin Cities Community Theatre will be producing "Heathers: The Musical" February 2-12, 2017.

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