On Stage

Legally Blonde

Powerful in pink

Attend

What: Legally Blonde, the Musical

When: 3 pm Sun., Mar. 24

Where: Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.

Cost: $45-$80

Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

When I was in first grade, one of my teachers placed me with a group of remedial readers despite the fact that I was already powering through Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books and could make my way through most encyclopedia entries—something my mother pointed out when she made a complaint at the elementary school.

The teacher who’d made the mistake hadn’t tested my abilities in advance. I was short for my age, so apparently she’d taken it for granted my brain had some growing to do as well.

It wasn’t the last time someone would assume something about me because of my appearance, but much like Elle Woods—the lead character in Legally Blonde—I learned to rise above people’s preconceived notions about my intellect (or lack thereof) and make my way in the world.

Life lessons such as these will be on the roster at the showing of the stage version of the production Sun., March 24 at the Mount Baker Theatre. Based on the tale first brought to life on the big screen by Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde, the Musical adds song and dance to the story of a UCLA sorority girl who gets dumped for not being serious enough and follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School to show him how very wrong he is.

Initially, Elle’s focus at law school has less to do with her studies and more to do with ways to win back the guy who insinuated that she was lesser than him because she was blonde, perky and wore a lot of pink. But as Elle learns how to deal with snobby classmates who disapprove of her attire, helps a friend with a legal problem, and wins a coveted internship—which, in turn, leads to her helping solve a murder investigation—the story becomes less about romance, and more about self-discovery.

It’s a Broadway musical, so even though audience members can expect to come away with the realization that smart people come in all sorts of packages, they will also be entertained by a Greek Chorus comprised of Elle’s sorority sisters, a meek-to-macho makeover, love triangles and a singing, dancing fitness queen who may have killed her billionaire husband.

There’s a telling point in Legally Blonde when Elle considers changing her hair color to brunette, thinking maybe that will help people take her more seriously. But Paulette, a spunky beautician at a salon called the Hair Affair, helps her to see it isn’t what’s on the outside that matters, and as long as she stays true to herself, she’ll be good to go.

Elle takes the advice to heart, and soon she’s thinking less about what other people think about her, and more about law school, and what she wants for her future. Spoiler alert: It’s not her ex-boyfriend.

Alan Doyle
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