Omigod, Omigod you guys! Legally Blonde: The Musical opened in Windsor this past weekend and it was… well… worthy of a snap for the ol’ snap cup.
Cardinal Music Productions is currently hosting this rather large ensemble version of the famous 2001 Reese Witherspoon movie, adapted from the novel of the same title by Amanda Brown. Staring Daniela Marier-Perissinotti as Elle Woods, with Aaron Bergeron as Emmett, Toni Bruner as Paulette and Joseph Cardinal as Professor Callahan, the play is a musical whirlwind of almost non-stop song and dance with nearly 20 different tunes. The ensemble, which numbers 30 performers, also includes two well-mannered dogs as well.
Legally Blonde: The Musical tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. She discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others, and successfully defends exercise queen Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial. Throughout the show, no one has faith in Elle Woods, but she manages to surprise them when she defies expectations while staying true to herself.
It took a few minutes to adopt to a minimalist stage and very few props, but once the company finished the great choreography in the opening number Omigod You Guys, everyone was glued to the mesmerizing Marier-Perissonotti. Hats off to her for an incredible performance which saw her on stage for almost the entire production, minus numerous costume changes. Her Elle had enough bubbles and glitz to know it was Elle up there on stage and her take on the role was both believable and fun. She also looked great in the famous Playboy Bunny lingerie outfit for the “costume party”.
The ensemble pieces came off great on stage and offered a lot of singing and dancing. Outstanding pieces included Ireland by Bruner and the infamous Bend and Snap with Marier-Perissonotti, Bruner, Lexie Farrer as Serena, Natalie Culmone as Margot, Regan White as Pilar, as well as various snap guys and salon patrons.
The most outstanding number in the entire show was Whipped Into Shape, featuring a very toned Michelle Thibert as Brooke, along with Cardinal and company. During the highly active aerobic performance, Thibert actually had to hold a stunning bridge-like pose for quite a while. That’s some amazing core work, especially during such a vigorous routine.
Of note is Cardinal’s dramatic performance as bad guy Callahan. During his first number, his microphone didn’t seem to be on, but his voice was still powerful enough to hear over the music. He seemed to relish playing the bad guy and he looked great as a singing lawyer.
The other standout male in the cast was Sean Humenny as the comedic UPS guy who visits Paulette’s salon. He seemed to be a master of the male bend and snap. In one scene, the sorority girls tell Paulette to use the Bend and Snap on Kyle, but when she does, she accidentally breaks his nose.
With an ensemble this large, it’s hard to pick out individuals, but as a team and company, they singing was right on the money. The Delta Nu girls were in a few awesome dance routines and the entire second act rocked with outstanding performances songs like the afore mentioned Whipped Into Shape, Bend and Snap and the entire courtroom experience.
The full cast includes: Daniela Marier-Perissinotti, Aaron Bergeron, Toni Bruner, Carom O’Halloran, Kristy Loewen, Michelle Thibert, Tyler Jaques, Lexie Farrer, Natalie Culmone, Regan White, Amy Cooper, Sydney White, Wendy German, James Neely, Ross Sisco, Rob Del Papa, Sean Humenny, Melissa Mills, Michelle Whaley, Julie Walton, Lizz Beith, Kristin McMahon, Kendall Westlake, Anita Carlini, Jen Gurniak, Alen Levack (also music director) and Nina Fasullo (also choreographer). The human cast is joined by canine stars Leeloo Perissinotti as Brusier, and Pug as Rufus.
It’s easy to see why Cardinal Music Productions are a favourite amongst Windsorites. It’s all about performance and when there’s a fun script like Legally Blonde, it’s a splendid night out.
Legally Blonde: The Music continues this weekend (April 28-30) at The Green Room Theatre at École secondaire catholique E.J. Lajeunesse. General admission tickets are $22. www.cardinalmusicproductions.com
Photo of Marier-Perissinotti from Kristin McMahon’s Facebook page.