ShowBizRadio

Theater Info for the Washington DC region

The Alliance Theatre Legally Blonde the Musical

By • Aug 2nd, 2012 • Category: Reviews
Legally Blonde the Musical
The Alliance Theatre
Chantilly High School, Chantilly, VA
Through August 5th
2:40 with one intermission
$18/$16 Student, Seniors
Reviewed July 28th, 2012

Legally Blonde: The Musical is based on Amanda Brown’s novel and the MGM movie, with book by Heather Hach, music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin. Elle Woods, a Southern California Valley Girl, gets her heart crushed by her boyfriend who is heading off to Harvard Law. She attempts to win back his love by getting in to Harvard Law herself, but once there she discovers she does not fit in. Elle’s friends help her see that true love is standing right next to her waiting for the door to open.

This cast of 45 managed to maintain a high level of enthusiasm and, while the dancing may not have always been together, it was overshadowed by tons of energy and excitement.

Taylin Frame played the perky and convincing Elle Woods. She played a wide range of emotions moving from the typical Delta Nu dumb blonde to facing the pain of rejection back to realizing that she has the intellect to make it at Harvard. An outstanding performance was given by Amanda Mason who played the “serious” girlfriend Vivienne Kensington. Her portrayal was quite believable and she seemed at ease on stage, always reacting to the action happening on stage, even when she was not the central figure. Elle and her friend Emmet Forrest played by Gray O’Reilly made a good pair. They seemed comfortable on stage together. In the second act their relationship was supposed to move to something more deep, however this was not quite achieved and they seemed to be better suited as friends rather than a couple. Elle’s good friend Paulette (Cathy Arnold) gave a fun comic interpretation of the hairdresser and jilted lover. She was feisty and determined to move on with her life. All of the Delta Nus were fun to watch as they bent and snapped throughout the afternoon.

One of the of the disappointments of this production was the sound quality. The high school auditorium was large and high which made balancing the sound difficult. Often times the voices could be heard, but you had no idea what they were saying. The sound was better when the voices were straight on, but with Melanie Marie Gibson’s complicated dance moves it was not always possible to face forward for the entire show. Set Designer Maggie Swan made good use of the set that allowed for easy scene changes and movement. Leslie Ross (Set Painting Designer) balanced bright pinks with the stately aged effect of Harvard and the courtroom.

Overall a lively performance, with moments of humor and romance as Elle learns how she can fit in with the group, just by being herself.

Director’s Notes

When I was chosen to direct this show I was incredibly excited! OMG! You guys picked me? This show has it all; great music, comedy with a little drama, and most of all a great moral and happy ending to the story! This show is all about growth and reaching for your dreams. But what happens when something changes the course of your life and causes you to rethink what your dreams are? What happens if they change?

After I cast the show, I sat down with the cast and the excitement was very high because the young people got it and the older ones understood it because they could relate. They have worked very hard on this show and you’ll see it… they are having fun! We had a blast putting this together and I hope you have a blast watching it! The entire cast and crew thanks you for coming to see us. I couldn’t have done it without them and you wouldn’t have had a great view hours of entertainment either, at least I hope you did! SNAPS!

Scott Olson

Cast

  • Margot: Rachel Hutzenbiler
  • Serena: Megan Kingsley Hazard
  • Pilar: Stephanie Gaia Chu
  • Kate: Lindsay Steinberg
  • Gaelen: Caty Nicholson
  • Leilani: Megan Griggs
  • Brandi: Susanna Jacobson
  • Delta Nus: Abbie Desrosiers, Caitlin Jackson, Emily Ranch
  • Elle Woods: Taylin Frame
  • Dress Shop Sales Woman: Molly Hartshorn
  • Dress Shop Manager: Christy Beltran
  • Warner Huntington III: David McVicar
  • Elle’s Dad: Larry Keeling
  • Elle’s Mom: Christy Beltran
  • Grand Master Chad: Ralph Chambati
  • Winthrop: Larry Keeling
  • Lowell: Christopher Rios
  • Pforzheimer: Devyn Tinker
  • Jet Blue Pilot: Ralph Chambati
  • Marching Band: Centreville HS Marching Band
  • Color Guard: Centreville HS Color Guard
  • Emmett Forrest: Gray O’Reilly
  • Aaron Schultz: Nick Ingargiola
  • Sundeep Padamadan: Chris Albrigo
  • Enid Hoops: Helen Smith
  • Callahan: Michael Clendenin
  • Vivienne Kensington: Amanda Mason
  • Whitney: Molly Hartshorn
  • Paulette: Cathy Arnold
  • Off-Stage Voice: Abbie Desrosiers
  • Kyle: Brian Johnson
  • Dewey: Scott Olson
  • Brooke Wyndham: Erin Cooper
  • Salon Cashier: Karen Jaynes
  • Kiki the Colorist: Neal Ging
  • Salesgirls: Christy Beltran, Susanna Jacobson
  • Salon Client: Caty Nicholson
  • Judge: Ahryel Tinker
  • Nikos: Brandon Dawson
  • Stenographer: Caty Nicholson
  • District Attorney: Emily Ranch
  • TV Reporter: Chris Albrigo
  • Chutney Wyndham: Abbie Desrosiers
  • Ensemble: Sarina Arora, Christy Beltran, Ralph Chambati, Connor Clendenin, Brandon Dawson, Neal Going, Rebecca Gufstafson, Hannah Harmison, Karen Jaynes, Alex Jung-Moss, Livi Jung-Moss, Evan kohnstam, Kaihla J. Powell,Jenny Silva, Jessica Stahle, Lindsey Stutz, Hana Tawil, Ahryel Tinker, Devyn Tinker, Liza Vanyan, Margot Vanyan

Production Staff & Family Support

  • Producer: Maggie Swan
  • Director: Scott Olson
  • Music Director: Nancy MacArthur Smith
  • Orchestra Conductor: Nancy MacArthur Smith
  • Choreographer: Melanie Marie Gibson
  • Assistant Choreographer: Stephanie Gaia Chu
  • Dance Captain: Emily Meiburg
  • Stage Manager: Steve Moss
  • Theatre Workshop Director: Elaine Wilson
  • Workshop Instructors/Counselors: Chris Albrigo, Maggie Monk
  • Assistant Director: Amanda Herman
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Jarred Stelfox
  • Set Designer: Maggie Swan
  • Set Construction Manager: Steve Cooper
  • Lead Carpenter: Steve Cooper
  • Set Construction leads: Marty Griggs, Steve Moss
  • Set Construction: Alex Basil. Erin Cooper, Roger Davidson, Liam DeVoe, Diego Encarnacion, Billy Ermlick, Amando Fernandez, Jack Griggs, Kurt Gustafson, Amanda Herman, Rachel Hutzenbiler, David Johney, Terry Mason, David McVicar, Jarred Selfox
  • Set Painting Design: Leslie Ross
  • Set painting: Ralph Chambati, Connor Clendenin, Denise Clendenin, Emily Clendenin,Megan Clendenin, Mike Clendenin, Holly Czuchna, Alana DeVoe, Taylin Frame, Jack Griggs, Leigh Harmison, Molly Hartshorn, Amanda Mason, Suzy McCarthy, David McVicar, Tyler Meiburg, Gray O’Reilly, Lindsay Steinberg, Terri Steinberg, Marina Vanyan, Elaine Wilson
  • Set Decoration/Dressing Design: K.Clayton
  • Set Dressing: Jamie Busse, Alicia Coleman
  • Costume Design: Sabrina Chandler, Claudia Tameris
  • Specialty Costumes: Hannah Ballinger
  • Properties Design: K. Clayton
  • Properties: Alicia Coleman
  • Lighting Designer: Kurt Gufstafson
  • Lighting Team: Liam DeVoe, Diego Encarnacion, Billy Ermlick, David Johney
  • Sound Designer: Bill Johnson
  • Sound Assistant: Amanda Herman
  • Special Effects Designer: Kurt Gustafson
  • Video Effects/projection: Kurt Gustafson
  • Make Up Design: Maggie Monk
  • Running Crew: Alana DeVoe
  • Box Office Manager: Wendy Hutzenbiler
  • Box Office Team: Laurie Griggs, Dawne LeKang, Meg Mason, Marwan Nabulsi, Joan Stahle, Silvia Tawil, Marina Vanyan
  • Financial Manager: Penny Fischer
  • Cast Lunch Coordinator: Emily Stutz
  • Cast Party Coordinator: Mary McVivar
  • Concessions Coordinators: Beth Gustafson, Theresa Ingargiola
  • Lobby Managers: Mary McVicar, Terri Steinburg
  • Playbill Callboard/Ad Sales: Laurie Griggs
  • Playbill Cover: Nick Gatz
  • Playbill: Marty Griggs
  • Publicity/T-Shirt Graphics: Nock Gatz
  • Publicity Manager:Sarah Meiburg
  • Publicity Day Coordinator: Terri Steinberg
  • Flashmob Coordinator: Sarah Meiburg
  • Flashmob Video: Kurt Gustafson
  • Star Gram Chairs: Karen Going, Neal Going
  • Still Photography: Laurie Griggs
  • T-Shirts: Penny Fischer
  • ushers: Loma Glassman, Laurie Griggs, Meg Mason, Mary McVicar, Evyn O’Reilly, Julie Reis, Ben Steinberg, Terri Steinberg, Emily Stutz, Jeff Stutz, Silvia Tawil, Marina Vanyan
  • Audition Chairs: Mary DeVoe, Meg Mason
  • Webmasters: Mary DeVoe, Dawne LeKang, Marwan Nabulsi

Orchestra

  • Conducted by Nancy MacArthur Smith
  • Rehearsal Accompanist: Garry Fitzgerald
  • Bass: James Carpenter
  • Drums: Randy Berquist
  • Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone: Sam Brady
  • Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone: Bill Schnepper
  • Guitar: Matt Sollinger
  • Keyboard 1: Wade Meyers
  • Keyboard 2: David Jaynes
  • Keyboard 3: Steve Foster
  • Percussion: Trent Saiget
  • Trombone: Tim Smith
  • Trumpet 1: Dave Shuma
  • Trumpet 2: Dan Smith
  • Violin: Jordan Willis

Disclaimer: The Alliance Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. TAT also purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio.net web site, which did not influence this review.

Tagged as: , ,

This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/8391.

started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

2 Responses »

  1. Thank you for your review of this great production of Legally Blonde. Personally I have seen this show many times by Alliance, being in this orchestra, and I think this cast is doing a fabulous job. As for the sound quality, we can only work with this old facility in the best way possible. The cast and crew have done an excellent job dealing with these issues and the heat. One thing I must bring up is that there was no mention of this absolutely fantastic orchestra. Not one word in your review! This is a MUSICAL and THIS orchestra is GREAT! Legally Blonde is one of the best new musicals for the score, and this is a tough one. The orchestra must be in top shape to do this show justice, and our LB band at Alliance is definitely up to the task. It would have been nice for you to have acknowledged this outstanding orchestra and our music director. We have received many comments from the audience that our orchestra sounds like the CD of the Broadway cast recording. Positive compliments like that tell the tale. What I say to all reading this is, come and see this great production of Legally Blonde. You will have a great time and be Bending and Snapping for days to come!

  2. Hi Dave, Yes, you’re right, we didn’t mention the orchestra. I haven’t heard the Broadway cast recording, so can’t compare. I worked on the Alliance Theater’s Hairspray last summer, so yes, I do know the sound problems are significant in that performing space. Break a leg this weekend.