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Theater review: 'Legally Blonde' breaks laws to be satisfyingly sweet

Published: Saturday, July 4 2015 10:32 p.m. MDT

Amelia Rose Moore as Elle Woods and Megan Lyon as Brooke Wyndam with ensemble in Midvale Main Street Theatre's Legally Blonde. (Midvale Main Street Theatre) Amelia Rose Moore as Elle Woods and Megan Lyon as Brooke Wyndam with ensemble in Midvale Main Street Theatre's Legally Blonde. (Midvale Main Street Theatre)

“LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL,” Midvale Main Street Theatre, through Aug. 31, $12-$15, midvaletheatre.com or 801-566-0596

MIDVALE — “Legally Blonde: the Musical” breaks nearly each law of musical theater. It’s a film-to-stage adaptation that is more memorable than the original. The songs are silly and forgettable but effective for the spirit of the show. And the sugar rush of the empty calories in this pink cotton candy confection is satisfyingly sweet.

Thanks to the super-charged Midvale Main Street Theatre cast and a stand-out performance, “Legally Blonde” is a bright and sparkly, high-energy production.

What director Aleksndr Arteaga gets so entertainingly correct is the requisite silly-serious tone to make the show rewarding.

Michael Anthony Howell as Emmett Forest and Amelia Rose Moore as Elle Woods in Midvale Main Street Theatre's Legally Blonde. (Midvale Main Street Theatre) Michael Anthony Howell as Emmett Forest and Amelia Rose Moore as Elle Woods in Midvale Main Street Theatre's Legally Blonde. (Midvale Main Street Theatre)

Following the storyline of the 2001 movie that starred Reese Witherspoon, Elle Woods is the lovable Malibu Barbie UCLA sorority girl who follows her pretentious ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III to Harvard Law School and eventually realizes that she can be pretty in pink while still earning academic success and respect of her “serious” peers.

Amelia Rose Moore as Elle is the revelation that makes “Legally Blonde” work so well. The featherweight lines are delivered with passionate conviction, and Moore has a commanding stage presence and an appealing voice. What could be a cartoon-like role is endearing and effervescent.

As you’d expect with its Girl Power! theme, the supporting cast of women shines: Megan Lyon as Brooke Wyndam, the fitness queen on trial for murder; Leah Jacobs as the ditsy hairdresser Paulette Buonofuonte; and Tia Galanis as Elle’s adversary-turned-advocate Vivienne Kensington.

The Greek chorus of sorority-sister supporters exemplify cheerleader pep throughout, and the Energizer Bunny choreography by Aaron Ford is high-stepping fun.

Some pivotal, dramatic moments are glossed over too quickly. Losing the opportunity to vary the tempo with no chance for the audience to absorb the weight of the moment are Elle’s clothing snafu at the law school party and the confrontation between Elle and Professor Callahan.

There are other minor quibbles with some artistic decisions, but there’s no major detraction from the irresistible treat of “Legally Blonde.”

Cautionary advisory: Brief sexual innuendo and irreverent slang

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