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Peppy, wacky musical offers laughs, plenty of pink

Kristen Moran

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“Legally Blonde” is a mixture of pink, sass and quirkiness, sprinkled with just a dash of Irish music.

The lovable musical tale, inspired by Amanda Brown’s novel and the 2001 movie of the same name featuring Reese Witherspoon, will be featured at Chico Theater Company 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through November 9.

Rebecca Allen, 22, is a perfect fit as protagonist Elle Woods, a sorority-girl-turned Harvard Law School student fighting for the heart of ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III, portrayed by Chico State junior theater arts major Zachary Hansen.

Allen’s spunky take on what could easily be a flat, vapid character is refreshing, and it is a joy to see her character develop throughout the show.

Tyler Campbell, a Chico State senior musical theater major, plays the part of law teaching assistant Emmett Forrest, the plucky, chip-on-his-shoulder male lead.

The musical begins with peppy opening number “Omigod You Guys.” The intended obnoxiousness of the lyrics mixed with the cheerfulness of the cast will either leave the audience teetering on the edge of its seats with laughter or contemplating if it entered a preppy, pink hell.

The performance increases in silliness with numbers like “Bend and Snap,” which refers to a method Woods and her sorority pals use to get the attention of men, and “There! Right There!,” which explores whether one of the characters is “gay or European.” Both are guaranteed to send audiences into fits of laughter.

The show has unexpected parts as well, such as Irish jigs and wacky secondary characters. Songs like “Blood in the Water” showcase stand-outs Robert Hart, who portrays Woods’ Harvard Law School instructor, Professor Callahan, and Camille Hoffman, who portrays Woods’ classmate Enid Hoopes.

The only issue with the musical is that it seems to be plagued with technological problems. Oct. 16 it had to be shut down because of a disco-lighting problem after “Take It Like A Man” at the beginning of the second act.

“We just had a technical fluke,” said director Shaunna Jones. “This has never happened in the 12 years that (Chico Theater Company) have been business.”

Thursday’s show also had microphone and lighting issues. Though that was distracting, many appreciated the unintentional a cappella portion of the show.

Looking past the technical issues, the show is a lovable laughable riot featuring talented, dedicated local dancers, actors and singers. Campbell (Emmett Forrest) said that it also shares a meaningful message.

“I really like the message of the musical, such as not judging a book by its cover and tapping into your true potential,” he said, “which is something that I think gets lost in this day and age.”

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Musical Details

  • Date: Thursday-Sunday through Nov. 9
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
  • Location: Chico Theater Company
  • Price: $20 for adults, $12 for children

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Tickets can be bought online or at Chico Theater Company.

Kristen Moran can be reached at [email protected] or @Kristenvmoran on Twitter.

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Peppy, wacky musical offers laughs, plenty of pink