Top critical review
21 of 28 people found this helpful
on July 25, 2007
The cast recording of "Legally Blonde" more or less matches the light and amiable tone of the Reese Witherspoon movie about a perky sorority girl's success at Harvard Law School. Nobody will mistake this for great art, but the score by Laurence O'Keefe ("Bat Boy," "La Cava") and Nell Benjamin gets the job done. What's questionable is whether the job needed to be done. The movie was enjoyable, but slight and predictable; the musical doesn't aspire to much more. Still, there are a few surprises in the score that keep it interesting. First, there are really no extractable "songs" here-- most of the numbers are structured as scenes, containing a mix of music and dialogue, often while juggling location changes and multiple characters. This works pretty well-- I could easily imagine a "Legally Blonde" musical that is just a slog of pop songs; there is some clever, even ambitious, writing here. Take for instance the best track, "What You Want," which details protagonist Elle Woods's entrance into Harvard. Skillfully paced over 8 minutes, the music is stylistically all over the place-- moving from pop to disco to reggae to marching band to power balladry, all while moving the action forward and managing to be funny. It's well done. And there are other numbers like it, and even a welcome foray into the bizarre by way of an unlikely homage to all things Irish ("Ireland"). All in all, this is an entertaining enough score, given the source material. Still: enough with stage adaptations of popular movies! The trend is getting old.