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The event that I attended on November 15th of 2016 at 7:30 pm was Legally Blonde, a musical of Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. This performance was produced by the Texas State University Performing Arts Center of Theatre and Dance and was performed in the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre of Texas State University. This musical is based on the novel and the movie Legally Blonde. The production tells the story of the adventure of Elle Woods, a sorority girl at UCLA with a great fashion sense and an admiration of the color pink, finding her life go into a spiral when she is dumped by her boyfriend Warner. In an attempt to prove to Warner that she is worthy of his love, she follows him to Harvard Law School, where she struggles to fall in suit with everyone else and do well. Eventually, she challenges the obvious expectations that others have for blondes and manages to stay true to her charmingly pink charisma. This show was hilarious to attend, and every scene was entertaining to watch. I really liked how the effects of the scenery, lighting, costume, sound, choreography and singing were all alluring and kept me tuned in completely during the entire performance. I was captivated by how lovely the performance was done and carried out, and I have not seen such an amazing musical as this.
For scenery and lighting, they were both pretty elaborate. One example for scenery was how, in the beginning, parts of scenes were displayed on multiple cellphones. Another example was there were multiple set changes – from the Delta Nu house, to the Harvard Law admissions office, to Harvard Law, to outside, to Elle’s dorm, to the Harvard Law classroom, to the courtroom, to the salon, etc. The scene changes were on point and each set piece flowed perfectly with the words of the characters and the music of the song pieces. When it came to lighting, I liked how there were lots of pinks in each scene. The pink lights definitely gave a more Elle-type feel to the whole show, and it was a wonderful attribute of the musical. The spotlights for each character were basically perfect and spot-on. The characters looked good in their light and not one of the characters looked washed out or flat.
For costuming, each costume fit into the style of the early 2000s. I enjoyed how each character was dressed according to their personality – the costumes definitely made the character. Brandon R. McWilliams did well as costume designer by finding each costume for each actor and actress to fit the character physically and emotionally – costumes were very appropriate for each matter within the play. By wearing these costumes, the actors and actresses were able to display and carry out their mood and tone precisely.
MaeAnn Ross did well with the sound design. The sounds during the play were very suitable. Sound took the forms of sound effects, music and the use of microphones (whether on stage or on the actor). To me, nothing needed to be done differently with the microphones and music – everything seemed to be perfectly fine. The sound effects went well with the script as well as the music. Each sound and musical piece was integrated nicely into the script and into the performance. I loved every bit of it.
When it came to singing, these characters could literally sing their heart out – they are seriously talented – and sang with such enthusiasm. The singing followed each song of the musical tremendously well – to a T – and each song was sung with the emotion that it was supposed to be sang in. One example I would like to share is when Elle lead the song “So Much Better”, she showed sadness and eventually showed happiness and hopefulness because she saw her name on the list. There was only one time where I felt the singing was off, and that was one point in the first classroom scene. Besides that, each character sang their heart out and knew exactly how to sing each song correctly. The singing was one of my favorite parts of the whole show.
The choreography, my other favorite part of the musical theatre production, was – to be completely honest – amazing. Kiira Schmidt Carper knew exactly what she was doing when she put the dance moves together for each actor and actress to do. The dance breaks for each song where so funny and amazing, it was so much fun to watch every single one.
One thing that I never enjoy about any production here at Texas State University, produced by anyone who holds their showcases in the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre, is that the shows never start on time – ever.
In conclusion, I believe the musical theatre production of Legally Blonde at Texas State University was a complete success, and I could honestly watch it over and over again. The Musical Theatre department at Texas State has really shown out, and I am glad that I got to experience such an amazing performance that was brilliantly showcased. I have already recommended that others go watch the performance because it was just that good. I loved it, enjoyed it, greatly appreciated it, and laughed a lot throughout the whole musical.
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