“Legally Blonde: The Musical” Showcases Comedic Talent


Jose Cueva

Legally Blonde cast members on stage are (from left to right) Tiffany Campbell, Ashley Lopez, Kassandra Podhajecki, Samuel Wheeler, Kretell Bolanos-Pereira, Kevin Duong, Laila Elgarhy, Trenton Washington, Evelyn Roberts, Delia Hunt, Anderson Hernandez Torres, Zuyemi Cortez-Cardenas, Jeffrey Waddington, Michael Jacob Quizon, Jefferson Quinonez-Hernandez, and Natalie Ly.

Kaylee Wisner, Special to the Lance

Ready to bend and snap? John R Lewis High School’s production of Legally Blonde the Musical embodied this iconic move, bending expectations and creating a snappy hit.

Based on the hit 2001 film, Legally Blonde follows Elle Woods, a fashion-forward sorority girl who attends Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend. Along the way, she discovers her own worth, stands up for what she believes in, and becomes a champion for the underestimated. John R Lewis High School’s production brought the beloved musical to life by tackling the upbeat songs and hilarious moments with vigor and passion.

Despite being intended for a larger cast, this cast and crew put on a valiant and dedicated effort to entertain audiences. The energy and enthusiasm of the ensemble was the highlight of the performance, with the Delta Nus (Tiffany Campbell, Ashley Lopez, Kasandra Podhajecki) enhancing the production to a stunning extent far beyond their size as a three-person ensemble. Their consistently tight harmonies, electric energy, and hilarious over-the-top vibes as they bopped and shimmied through both college and the inner thoughts of their fellow student made them a joy to watch.

Delia Hunt delivered an impressive portrayal of Elle Woods, capturing the character’s quirky mannerisms and charm. Her versatility as both a character actor and a dancer was evident, tackling the uniquely memorable speaking voice of the character especially well and standing out in the iconic courtroom scene. In addition to her electric spoken line delivery, she had moments of vocal prowess in songs such as “Legally Blonde.” MJ Quizon’s Emmett Forrest was endearing, bringing a commitment and sincerity to the character’s growth from a driven law student to Elle’s surprise love interest. Quizon tackled his first major role with competent vocals and heartwarming chemistry.

Samuel Wheeler’s performance as Paulette stole the show. Wheeler had impeccable comedic timing, a charming character voice, and a powerful singing voice that pulled at the heartstrings, especially in numbers like “Ireland” and “Bend and Snap,” guiding the character’s growth from under-confident and lonely to self-assured and surrounded by friends and loved ones. Wheeler brought a maturity to the stage which was unmatched by other characters. UPS delivery boy Kyle, played by Jeffrey Waddington, added to the hilarity of the production with his boogieing and deep, seductive voice, complementing Wheeler’s Paulette admirably as the two lovebirds found each other.

The technical aspects of the show succeeded in creating an effective ambience. The lighting crew courageously enhanced the show with multicolored spotlights, and the choreography by Gia Cerchione was the champion technical element. The bouncy expressiveness of the finger-wagging and leg-bouncing dance moves shone, especially during the Delta Nus’ attitude-laden numbers, and added a playful energy to the production.

Legally Blonde is a musical about overcoming adversity and defying expectations to become the standout everyone has the capacity to be, and this small but passionate company of students fully embodied the message, putting on an entertaining show. Bravo!

Editor’s note: This Cappies review was contributed by West Springfield High School student Kaylee Wisner. Legally Blonde premiered at Lancer Theatre on April 21. Performance dates are Apr. 21, 22, 28. and 29 at 7 pm and Apr. 30 at 2 pm, $5 for students and staff and $10 general admission.