Review: Ohmygod, you guys! CrazyLake has hit with “Legally Blonde”

Amy Studabaker (left) is townie hairdresser Paulette and Peyton Cole is Harvard law student Elle Woods in the CrazyLake Acting Company production of
Amy Studabaker (left) is townie hairdresser Paulette and Payton Cole is Harvard law student Elle Woods in the CrazyLake Acting Company production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” — CrazyLake photo

By Wendy Carson

CrazyLake’s new show, “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” does a fantastic job of showcasing many of the talented young adults in the Hancock County area. With a mere 15 percent of the enormous cast consisting of adults, it’s really impressive to see these kids ruling the stage. I’m sure most of them will be off to college and out of the area very soon, but those that do stick around should be regulars on the area stages very soon.

Besides the overall level of acting and singing, the true stand-out here is the choreography by Amy Studabaker. The various dances are not only artfully crafted but perfectly executed. This is especially amazing in the numbers with seven or more dancers performing in unison. The finale with the entire cast is particularly breathtaking.

The show’s story is very faithful to the original movie’s script and the elaborate musical numbers do not detract from the story. However, like the film it was based on, it never takes itself too seriously. Hence, the running gag of Elle’s “Greek Chorus” appearing periodically thoughout.

Payton Cole is sheer perfection in her turn as Elle, a ditzy sorority girl who will do anything (including getting in to Harvard Law School) to snag the man she feels she is destined to be with. Harrison Kenn is appropriately pompous and self-involved as the object of Elle’s affections. Patrick Gawrys-Strand’s does a beautifully nuanced job in his role as Emmitt, the financially disadvantaged kid who is Elle’s most faithful supporter. Studebaker is delightful as Paulette, the salon owner with her dreams of Ireland and a better life with a good man who truly supports her.

Still, many of the true stand-outs are in some of the “lesser role,” such as the divine band of ladies playing Elle’s sorority sisters and the Greek Chorus. Trevor Brown’s take on Kyle, the UPS guy, was hilarious and fun to behold. Of course, I cannot leave out the amazing talents of the two most adorable cast members, Banner McDowell-Fisher and Buddy Brown as Bruiser Woods and Rufus — they were consummate professionals through and through.Honestly, I could easily write at least a dozen or so more paragraphs highlighting every single performer and role but I already feel like I’m exhausting my audience’s patience as well as running out of adjectives. So just let me say that every single cast member was sheer perfection, and if anyone out there misses this production, they will truly regret it.

Performances are today through Sunday and July 17-19 at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts, 122 W. Main St. in downtown Greenfield (on U.S. 40, just west of the county courthouse). Info and tickets at the CrazyLake Facebook page and CrazyLake.com.

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