Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,


Photo. Valleywind productions

Expecting fluff? Then your first surprise is that the script of Legally Blonde, The Musical is equipped with a few skewers and incisive comments alongside the heroine’s signature colour of pink and her dream of love and marriage to a dream guy/jerk.

Among the sideswipes at stereotypes, projecting the appropriate image, social climbing and social niceties in general are a couple of shots at lawyers and the style of musical theatre. Along the way, Legally Blonde, The Musical, book by Heather Hach, music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, laughs at itself, too. And that is why the show is so much fun.

After a somewhat tentative beginning to the opening number, the high-energy Orpheus Musical Theatre Society production captures the spirit of the show and, under the direction of Cindy Beaton, the cast give the impression that they are having a ball in every number.

The precise execution of dance numbers and the liveliness of Debbie Millett’s choreography — there is a slight and highly appropriate sense of marching to the drummer that calls for women to stick together — add one more layer to the non-fluffy side of the equation.

As California blonde Elle Woods, the girl who goes to Harvard to try to convince her ex she is an appropriate match for him, Emily Reid is jaunty and stylish. As her friend and hair stylist Paulette, Nicole Milne delivers a strong performance that is just on the cusp of going over the top and always very funny — particularly in her reactions to the love of her life (no wonder in the face of Rob Singlehurst’s superb swagger).

The contrastingly subtle characterization from Derek Eyamie as Emmett, the lawyer who values the chip on his shoulder, works extremely well, as does the eye-catching movement from Andrea Black as Pilar.

The two bad guys, Jacob Atkinson as Warner Huntingdon III and Dean Ross as the sleazy lawyer/professor, give an adequate impression of nastiness, though Atkinson, at times, seems a little uncomfortable in his role.

The words sung by the female chorus, occasionally overwhelmed by the orchestra under Wendy Berkelaar’s baton, are periodically difficult to understand — a pity when the lyrics are definitely worth hearing.

But this is a relatively minor quibble. The joyful Orpheus production of Legally Blonde continues at Centrepointe Theatre to December 1.

Legally Blonde, The Musical

Music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin

Book by Heather Hach

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM movie

Orpheus Musical Theatre Society

Director                                                                     Cindy Beaton


Musical Director

Wendy Berkelaar


Debbie Millett


Tony Walker


Wendy Blakey, Joy Lackey


Rob Puchyr


John Cybanski


Elle Woods

Emily Reid

Emmett Forrest

Derek Eyamie

Warner Huntington III

Jacob Atkinson


Nicole Milne

Professor Callahan

Dean Ross

Enid Hoopes

Mahtab Sabet

Brooke Wyndham

Courtney Vezina

Vivienne Kensington

Rebecca Lantos


Hayley Doelman


Christa Cullain


Andréa Black

Kyle / Dewey

Rob Singlehurst


Joy Mwandemange, Sierra Brennan, Zoe Towne, Samantha Grigsby, Jillian Conway, Tanika Johnny-G, Ariane Roy, Liane Wray, Tara Morris, Tifanni Kenny, Matthew Chin, Keith Goranson, Michael Moreau, Scott Lemoine, J.T. Morris, Brandyn Mascall, Cody Zulinski, Pino Dicorato, Graeme Parke, Jeremy Sanders