WHEN | WHERE Through Aug. 25, Argyle Theatre, 34 W. Main St., Babylon
INFO From $49; 844-631-5483, argyletheatre.com
BOTTOM LINE Fun, fluffy but ultimately trivial stage version of the Reese Witherspoon film.
Getting into Harvard Law is a piece of cake, right? Just send in your scented application, then recruit your cheerleading sorority sisters to throw a parade on your behalf for the admissions committee.
Well, that’s how it goes in "Legally Blonde," the fun-loving but hopelessly lightweight musical at the Argyle Theatre in Babylon. (Let the record show that recent news events have demonstrated alternate means, but in this musical the wealthy California parents couldn't care less about where their daughter goes to college.)
Reese Witherspoon first walked those hallowed halls in the 2001 film, playing the brokenhearted Elle Woods, whose pursuit of higher education has more to do with getting her boyfriend back than any interest in the judicial system.
That magnetic performance is a hard act to follow, but Kirby Lunn does a respectable job, appropriately perky and bubbly as the young woman who chooses to hide her intellect in a cloud of pink.
Director-choreographer Antoinette DiPietropolo has gathered a solid supporting cast. Tyler Miclean is a charmer as the teaching assistant who suggests Elle might do better with her studies if she takes the shrink wrap off her law books. Jordan Litz is fine in the thankless part of Warner Huntington III, the guy who dumps Elle because she doesn’t mesh with his political ambitions (he wants more Jackie, less Marilyn).
Other standouts include Jill Taylor Anthony as ditsy salon owner Paulette, David Engel as the calculating Professor Callahan and Mollie Downes as murder suspect and fitness queen Brooke, who leads intricate jump rope choreography in the show's most energetic number "Whipped Into Shape."
And let’s not overlook the real scene stealers — adorable canine stars Caesar, playing Elle’s purse-size pet Bruiser, and Stitch, as Paulette’s bulldog Rufus, who gives Elle her first legal victory.
The production suffers some from an uninspired set, credited to Front Row Theatrical, though Travis McHale tries to save it with interesting lighting. And Travis Chinick's costumes are fun, notably Elle’s parade of pink, from sweatsuit to a final courtroom dress that’s a near replica to the one Witherspoon wore in the movie.
It all comes down to one last stand in the courtroom, where Elle hinges her legal arguments on things she knows best, like whether a sorority sister would sleep with a guy who wears bikini undies, or how to maintain a fresh perm. Such shenanigans might not fly in the Supreme Court or even on "Judge Judy," but this is musical theater, so what the heck. The defense rests.