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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

Tickled Pink by Legally Blonde



Pasquerilla East Musical Company’s (PEMCo) “Legally Blonde: The Musical” whirled and twirled onto the stage this weekend at Washington Hall. The entire ensemble glowed pink with energy and enthusiasm from the moment the curtains opened. With cute puppies, quick costumes changes, peppy dance routines, impressive vocal talent and dedicated acting performances, “Legally Blonde” was illegally good.

“Legally Blonde,” based off a novel and movie by the same title, recently became available for production by small local theatre companies and musical groups. The members of this PEMCo ensemble, therefore, were some of the first individuals to bring the show to life on a college campus.

The musical centered on Delta Nu sorority girl Elle Woods (Emily Nash) as she follows her ex-boyfriend all the way to Harvard Law School to win him back. Along the way, the audience was introduced to a delightful cast of characters with personalities as big as their talent.

The various sorority sisters of Elle’s Delta Nu UCLA chapter, played by many members of the ensemble, started off the show on a great note, with a humor and harmony in “Omigod You Guys.”

Nash played a delightful Elle, striking a balance between what audiences expect from a stereotypical blonde and what a smart, independent woman any blonde can be. Her extraordinary voice is equal parts sweet and sassy, especially showcased in moments like the song “What You Want,” where she goes from singing a heart-felt, powerful declaration of love to belting throughout a hip-bopping, cheerleader-esque dance routine.

Elle’s two love interests, Warner (Chris Siemann) and Emmett (Brian Scully), played off of each other’s energies well. While Siemann’s not-so-lovable character impressed with sheer vocal ability, Scully’s character won over the hearts of everyone within a two-mile radius. That is only slightly a hyperbole. Scully’s portrayal of Emmett was spot-on and overwhelmingly endearing from the moment he walked onto the stage. The duets between Scully and Nash, including “Chip on My Shoulder,” “Take it Like a Man” and “Legally Blonde,” were undeniably aww-inducing.

Paulette (Katie Mullins) blew the crowd away with her spunky and beautiful rendition of “Ireland.” Paulette’s love of dapper Irish men was well received by the Notre Dame crowd. Throughout the show, Mullins did an incredible job bringing the character of Paulette to life, delivering one of the strongest acting performances of the cast.

Sincerely, all the characters that graced the stage this weekend are worth noting. Elle’s Greek Chorus, who sang to her and advised her throughout the show, reminded Elle and the audience to be “Positive” as they pranced with pep and sang with spirit. Fitness queen Brooke Wyndham (Margret Prakel) and members of the ensemble performed an intense workout regime on stage, whirling jump ropes and hopping in rhythm. Prakel did an impressive job vocally as she was obviously being “Whipped Into Shape” by her workout. Warner’s new serious Harvard girlfriend, Vivienne (Elizabeth Curtin), transitioned from wicked cruel to wicked awesome throughout the show and ended up being just as kind and beautiful at heart as her breathtaking voice.

Due to strong, impressive chorus members and outstanding leads, PEMCo’s “Legally Blonde” surely will be remembered as one of the best PEMCo productions of recent years. Sincerely heartfelt and outrageously fun, “Legally Blonde” tinkled me pink with pride for the talent here at Notre Dame.