ashland.news
July 23, 2024

Review: This ‘Legally Blonde’ is more than a pretty face

Morgan Hecker, in her Oregon Cabaret Theatre debut, brings verve to the role of Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde." Austin Miller is featured as Emmett. Rick Robinson photo
July 10, 2024

The Oregon Cabaret Theatre production is fast-paced, filled with music and razzle-dazzle dance moves

By Lee Juillerat for Ashland.news

It’s true: Blondes do have more fun.

But in “Legally Blonde,” the new offering at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, the blonde works hard to earn her fun time.

Elle Woods is a cute, cheerleader-perky blonde who works to prove that she’s more than just a pretty face when her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, declares their love affair is over. Instead, he’s on his way to Harvard Law School with plans to eventually become a U.S. senator.

Initially devastated, Elle sets a course of action. Combining smarts and charm, she weasels her way into Harvard and its fabled law school, where she’s treated with scorn by her follow students, professor and the dumbfounded Warner.

The deets
‘Legally Blonde’ runs through Sept. 1. Show times: 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Wednesday nights. Matinees at 1 p.m. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Reservations required for pre-show dinner or brunch. Tickets, $32 to $49, available by phone at 541-488-2902 or visit oregoncabaret.com.

Fast pace and razzle-dazzle

Unlike the movie, which starred Reese Witherspoon, the Cabaret play is fast-paced, filled with music and incredibly razzle-dazzle dancing featuring gymnastic moves that could impress Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.

Too often, however, blaringly loud music overpowered words spoken and sung by the performers. Wondering if it was just me, during intermission I asked others if they were able to clearly understand the dialogue. “About half the time,” was the recurring reply.

Still, “Legally Blonde” is charming, delightful and fun-filled. Morgan Hecker, in her Cabaret debut as Elle, glows with vitality and verve. After finding the way to earn admission to the prestigious law school, she’s gobsmacked when she learns that Warner has a new love and she fends off the womanizing professor. But in the process, she earns the respect of the woman who had scorned her.

Strong cast

The strong, deep cast showcases Austin Miller as Emmett, who becomes enchanted by Elle’s charm and smarts; Marcus Brooks as the confused Warner; and Cabaret favorite Galloway Stevens as the pompous Professor Callahan.

Displaying their talents in supporting roles are Kristen Calvan as Paulette, Eva Dugre as Vivienne, Alyssa Yard as Brooke Wyndham, and Gabrielle Smith as Pilar. Several others also have their moments, including Bilbo Baggins Swanner, who, as the program notes, “is excited to em-bark on his paw-fessional” career as Bilbo Baggins Swanner the cuddly dog.

The singing, dancing and overall choreography is on display for many musical numbers, including “Take it Like a Man,” “Gay or European,” “Chip on My Shoulder,” “Blood in the Water,”and “Positive,” to name a few.

Overseeing “Blonde” is director Lauren Blair, who previously choreographed and played Brooke Wyndham in a Los Angeles production of “Legally Blonde” and is in her second season as the Cabaret’s associate artistic director. She has previously served as director and choreographer for several Cabaret plays.

Other production team members include music director Daniel Koh, assistant director/assistant choreographer Lili Fuller and stage manager Phillip Randall. The design team includes set designer DeAnne Kennedy, lighting designer Chris Wood, sound designer Tye Hunt Fitzgerald, prop designer Todd Nielsen, costume designers Kristie Mattsson and DeMara Cabrera, and projection designer Michael Stanfill.

If it were a movie, “Legally Blonde” would be rated PG-13 due to adult situations and mild language.

Show closes Sept. 1

“Legally Blonde” runs through Sept. 1 with Thursday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 1 p.m. and evening performances at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday nights.

Reservations are required for pre-show dinner or brunch. Appetizers, cocktails, beverages and desserts are available without reservations. Tickets range from $32 to $49. The Cabaret offers a 15% ticket discount for groups of 12 or more for select ticket types and performances, and $15 student rush tickets can be purchased 30 minutes before curtain with a valid student ID, subject to availability.

For additional information or to purchase tickets call the Oregon Cabaret Theatre box office at 541-488-2902 or visit oregoncabaret.com.

Email freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net.

Picture of Jim

Jim

Related Posts...

Ashland New Plays Festival announces October lineup

Four plays among 350 submitted to the Ashland New Plays Festival will be performed during the group’s 2024 Fall Festival this October. The playwrights will be in Ashland for a week of readings, development, and collaboration and will present their plays from Oct. 16 to 20.

Read More »

Theater named to honor Richard ‘Dick’ Hay

The newly named Rogue Theater Company theater, The Richard L. Hay Center, “stands as a testament to Richard’s enduring legacy ….” After designing hundreds of sets for local and nonlocal theaters and festivals alike, “Dick” is honored with a dedicated theater in his name.

Read More »

Latest posts

Obituary: Steven Maryanoff

Obituary: Steven Roy Maryanoff, beloved brother to Bruce Eliot Maryanoff and friend to many people around Ashland, passed away peacefully on June 18 at the age of 75 in his private home in Ashland. He was active in the Buddhist community in and around Ashland.

Read More >

Explore More...

Shakespeare’s "Coriolanus" hits the stage Tuesday at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Directed by Rosa Joshi, the play tells the story of a powerful yet starving population and a war hero turned politician.
Childcare providers have until Friday, July 26, to submit applications for Early Childhood Affordability Grant Program grants, according to an announcement by the city on Monday, July 22. The application period opened July 12, the release said.
A master plan tailor-made to guide the city of Ashland’s approach to homelessness was unanimously approved Thursday evening by the final committee standing between the plan and a review from Ashland City Council. A review of the master plan is scheduled for the Aug. 5 council study session. 
John Marciano: Violence at home and abroad is not antithetical to America, it has been its very nature since the founding.
Volunteers gathered Sunday morning in Railroad Park to make repairs to the Say Their Names memorial T-shirts along the fence by the park. it was the third or fourth Sunday in a row volunteers came to the park to slowly recreate the memorial for its fifth iteration.
ashland.news logo

Subscribe to the newsletter and get local news sent directly to your inbox.

(It’s free)

Don't Miss Our Top Stories

Get our newsletter delivered to your inbox three times a week.
It’s FREE and you can cancel anytime.