The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

Just Let Me Be: A Legally Blonde Review

Image by Luiza Deboni
Ava Baker as Elle Woods and Jacob Easter as Professor Callahan during an intense musical number

Legally Blonde: The Musical” aims to put a musical spin on the timeless 2001 film of the same name, and it largely succeeds. The audience follows the iconic Elle Woods (senior Ava Baker) as she navigates the world of Harvard in the pursuit of winning back her ex-boyfriend, Warner Huntington III (senior Robert Stewart). Elle learns how to be independent without Warner in her life, while she practices law under Professor Callahan (senior Jacob Easter). Elle’s classmate Emmett Forrest (senior Bonnieville Bond) is the only one to see something in her, so he decides to help develop her legal knowledge. Soon she will put these newfound skills to the test while she represents an exercise phenomenon, who happens to be a former member of Elle’s Delta Nu sorority. Elle is determined to have her acquitted on the trial for the murder of her husband. Featuring comedy, catchy songs and memorable performances, “Legally Blonde: The Musical” is sure to have something for everyone.

The show starts with an electric musical number led by the girls of UCLA’s Delta Nu sorority, as they expect Warner to propose that night. Elle and Warner go out on a fancy dinner date, but on the most important night of her life, he tells her that he wants to be with someone more serious. After this earth-shattering news, Elle struggles to have the energy to do anything but sit in her room all day. She finally finds the motivation to pursue Warner and applies to Harvard to show that she can be serious. Relentless studying and preparation for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) with the help of her Delta Nu sisters, Elle scored a miraculous 179 out of 180.

In the place of a personal essay, she marches into the Harvard Admissions office with a crew of backup dancers and proclaims she will be accepted in the name of love, which wins over the hearts of the admission officers. Lead Baker perfectly embodies the infectious spirit of Elle Woods, living vicariously through the blinding pink of her dorm room, and the slew of empty Dr Pepper cans decorating her bed frame. Much to Elle’s dismay, once she gets to class, she learns of Warner’s new girlfriend, Vivienne Kensington (senior Elaina Spiering), who embarrasses her in front of Professor Callahan and the rest of the class. Elle drags herself to her hairdresser Paulette Buonofuonte (senior Jesse Pena), believing that she would be better off as a brunette. Perhaps the funniest performance of the show, Pena plays off every cast member amazingly and lights up the stage in every scene they’re in. Their performance of course wouldn’t be complete without the wonderful Andy Quarnaccio as Kyle O’Boyle, Paulette’s UPS driver. Paulette advises against going brunette and tells Elle that she shouldn’t underestimate her qualities. Every time Pena and Quarnaccio were on stage together, the audience’s laughter and cheering were deafening.

Sparks fly as Paulette (Jesse Pena) meets her new delivery man Kyle (Andy Quarnaccio) for the first time (Image by Luiza Deboni)

Warner proposes to Vivienne in class in front of Elle, but her devastation is short-lived as Emmett shows Elle she was picked to be one of Callahan’s new interns. Spiering captures the exaggerated cruelty of Vivienne to great effect and is a fun inverse of the bubbly Baker as Elle. She finally realizes her unhealthy obsession with Warner is what’s keeping her from unlocking her full potential, and that she doesn’t need his attention to feel validated.

Story continues below advertisement

We’re introduced to the fitness queen Brooke Wyndham (sophomore Kaitlyn Kenney) with an energetic musical number that exhilarates the audience. Kenney delivered an out-of-this-world performance, singing, dancing and jump-roping all while in steady control of her voice. Callahan and the interns visit Brooke in prison to get an alibi, but she refuses to plead guilty. Elle discovers Brooke is a Delta Nu sister and she promises to keep her alibi a secret, which angers Callahan and the other interns.

At the trial, Brooke’s pool boy claims he was having an affair with her. Elle does not believe this and suspects he is gay. To prove this, she does the “Bend and Snap”, to which he doesn’t even bat an eye. In this discovery, the cast performs a hilarious number “Gay or European?”, which is both absurd and completely in character. He confesses that he is both gay and European. In Callahan’s office, he forces himself onto Elle to which she slaps him in the face. Callahan, unhappy with this, fires her and tells her to leave. Easter perfectly balances the seriousness of Callahan’s character and the witty tone of the show. Emmett begs Elle to stay, eventually coming to the realization that he is in love with her.

Back at the trial, Brooke fires Callahan and hires Elle to represent her instead. Brooke’s stepdaughter confesses to the murder of her father, revealing it was an accident and she thought it was Brooke. Brooke is released while her stepdaughter is arrested. Warner proposes to Elle after being dumped by Vivienne, but she declines. The show ends with a speech from Paulette about where the characters are now: Elle ends up valedictorian of her class, Callahan ran for mayor but lost, and Paulette and Kyle are happily married with two kids with another on the way. Elle proposes to Emmett as she finally leaves Warner behind and embraces her independence.

The show was a monumental undertaking for the theater department, and the fact that it turned out even half as good as it was is impressive. The tech crew used materials effectively by building set pieces that serve multiple purposes, which made the transitions between scenes buttery smooth. Everyone in the cast and crew did a commendable job at bringing the colorful world of Legally Blonde to the stage. Even with some audio hiccups here and there throughout the show, the cast moved past them quickly and stayed in character. A funny and lighthearted adventure dressed in pink, “Legally Blonde: The Musical” is among some of the best McNeil theater productions in recent memory.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cooper Seaver, Design Editor
My name is Cooper Seaver and this is my first year on the Trailblazer staff, and I am the design editor for the newspaper. I'm in tech theater and I like to help with our shows when I can. When I'm not at school, I'm working my job at Whataburger or spending time at the gym. In my free time, I like to watch movies, TV shows and listen to music. I am super excited to be on the 2023-24 Trailblazer staff!

Comments (0)

We ask that all comments be school appropriate, and all comments we receive will have to be approved by a site administrator. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
All The Trailblazer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *