When “Legally Blonde” came out in theaters in 2001, the movie made it clear that the story wasn’t your typical teen rom-com. That’s the main reason why the feminist comedy still resonates with audiences 17 years later, even in musical form.
The Paramount Theatre’s latest production of “Legally Blonde” will exceed movie fans’ expectations. Not only does it feature a great female role model, this energetic, thoughtful and hilarious show shares the same positive messages with a modern twist, which makes it the perfect show for your tweens and teenagers.
Elle Woods is the definition of not judging a book by its cover (or hair color). When the UCLA sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend, she is up to the task to do what it takes to win him back by following him to Harvard Law School. On her journey, she works hard to prove to others that she’s serious and more than just looks too.
How does the musical hold up with the famous movie featuring Reese Witherspoon then? Since the original production premiered on Broadway in 2007, the artistic team made a few changes in order to fit it in the world of today’s audience. A giant iPhone takes over the set to even remind older audience members on how much has changed since the early 2000s. Think: Taking Lyft rides, Facetiming and watching the rise of pumpkin spice lattes.
Aside from the shift to the present day, the production still holds true to what makes this movie-to-stage musical special. Elle Woods (Casey Shuler) still has her bright and confident personality with empowering songs — that are complete with a backup Greek chorus — to showcase her character development in “Positive” and “So Much Better.” While many characters in the cast are excellent, hairdresser Paulette (Sophie Grimm) and her hunky UPS man (James Doherty) don’t fail to make the crowd laugh.
While “Legally Blonde” might overall be a feel-good show, that doesn’t stop the theater on focusing on what’s important: “Being true to yourself never goes out of style.” During the time of the #MeToo movement, we see minor changes from the original script to improve the show’s message, like mentioning a female pilot and having Elle’s mom pay for law school instead of her father. Plus, Elle must deal with struggles such as her ex, Warner (Tyler Lain) considering her a “Marilyn” instead of a “Jackie” and even more serious issues that occur with her boss, Professor Callahan (James Rank).
The Paramount Theatre is even hosting a free workshop for students ages 11 to 18 on Monday, Sept. 24 to prove that these lessons are crucial for a rising generation. The Keep it Positive workshop will cover topics like sexual harassment, assault and teen dating violence in order to motivate young individuals to develop healthy relationships.
If you’re looking for a show for the entire family to see, “Legally Blonde” is your pick. We recommend the show for ages 10 and up, so take your older kids to enjoy a “retro” rom-com that never gets old.
If you go
Through Oct. 21
Tickets start at $36
The Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora