Thursday, 23 May 2013 12:27

Grand Rapids Civic Goes Blonde

Written by  Allison Parker
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Legally Blonde – the Musical
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre
June 1-2, 5-9, 12-16; show times at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
$16-34 grct.org, (616) 222-6650

A big personality is coming to the Grand Rapids Civic, and she's bold, beautiful and blond — very blonde. 

Devoted slave to everything pretty, pricey and pink, Legally Blonde's Elle Woods is a celebratory spoof of all things young and girly. Accessorized by catchy pop tunes, bubblegum-colored sets and a divalicious Chihuahua, Elle couldn't be happier with her life as a sorority queen bee. When Elle's boyfriend dumps her for a 'more serious' girlfriend, however, Elle enrolls at Harvard Law ready to prove there's more to her than the designer bag she carries.

"It really is a story about diversity," Director Bruce Tinker said. "It's as much about diversity of individuals as diversity of perception and not defining individuals by visual information. Elle is a bright, sharp person; although visual information tells you otherwise. The story does a great job taking us back to the fact that it's not just the people who wear glasses and knee highs who are serious. Everyone is serious. We should be open and accept people because of their mind and heart, not because of what's immediately visible."

For actress Breighanna Minnema, who plays Elle, the character is also noteworthy for her determination and self-belief.


"Elle really is a role model," Minnema said. "She's not only super stylish and beautiful, but she works hard and is really confident in herself ... She is constantly put down by other people, but all along she believes in herself and never loses herself."


The heroine's plucky spirit and optimism is boosted throughout the play by an upbeat soundtrack, which further illuminates Elle's character and charges scenes with energy and youthfulness.


"The live music has tremendous impact. It's a terrific score and it tells a lot about the story and what the characters are really feeling and thinking," Tinker said. "It allows characters like Elle to bust out and have fun."


The arguable fan favorite is the sassy "Bend and Snap," in which Elle shows a washed-up divorcee a move supposedly 99.99 percent effective on straight men. In addition to displaying Elle's goofy good-heartedness, the song becomes an anthem for feminine wiles and sheer girlish exuberance.


"Definitely one of my favorite scenes is when Elle and her sorority friends teach the 'Bend and Snap.' It's really fun—we bring the cast in and just groove out," Minnema said. "The music in the background is so great and everyone feels really fun and really sexy, and it's a fun time for the audience too."


Whether belting out showstoppers, dishing pertinent fashion advice or proving her own resolve, Elle Woods makes Legally Blonde both irresistibly entertaining and socially relevant.


"[The show is] about believing in others and yourself, not judging a book by its cover and seeing there is more underneath someone than maybe their blond hair ... It will be funny and pink and loud and wonderful," Minnema said.


Other Performing Arts Events

Wait Until Dark
Circle Theatre, Grand Rapids
June 6-8, 12-16, 19-22; show times at 5 and 7:30 p.m.
$25-27
circletheatre.org, (616) 456-6656

Blind housewife Susy's world plunges into darkness when three strangers convince her of her husband's role in a recent murder. All is not as it seems, and before long, the young woman realizes she is ensnared in an intricate web of deceit—one which she will be lucky to get out of alive. Her husband is merely pawn in a deadly game to retrieve an elusive, heroin-stuffed doll. Using her own guile and wit, Susy must foil the con men's elaborate schemes and separate truth from charade.


Oy! A Comedy with Chutzpah
Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids
Spectrum Theater, Grand Rapids
June 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, 23; show time at 8 p.m.
$18-20; students $5
jtgr.org, (616) 234-3946

Featuring 13 snippets of Jewish comedy, Oy! delights audiences of all backgrounds and pokes fun at shared experiences. A sharp script from respected playwright Rich Orloff infuses the show not only with humor and creativity, but also with fresh flashes of insight. Absurd vignettes explore the untold stories of Adam and Eve, the aphrodisiacal properties of non-kosher food, the meaning of Yiddish terms and more.


Xanadu
Mason Street Warehouse, Saugatuck
June 21-23, 25-30, July 2-7, 9-14; show times at 2, 7 and 8 p.m.
$29-42
masonstreetwarehouse.org, (269) 857-2399

An outrageous spoof of the cult film Xanadu, this show mixes '80s camp with Greek legend. When sidewalk artist Sonny Malone contemplates suicide, the young Muse Kira descends from Mt. Olympus to intervene. Rocking an Australia accent and legwarmers, Kira falls for Sonny while motivating him to achieve his dream of creating the first-ever roller disco.

Login to post comments

© 2018 Revue and Revue Holding Company

Join Our Newsletter!

Event Calendar

Breaking News

readthisissue 11.18