Once a year the College of Visual and Performing Arts joins with the Schools of Music and Theatre & Dance to present a musical in the University of Montana’s Montana Theatre. This year’s offering is the delightful Legally Blonde the Musical, based on the 2001 Reese Witherspoon movie Legally Blonde.
Sometime in the 19th Century the phrase “The show must go on,” originated, and nowhere was it more evident than in last night’s opening night performance. Several of the cast members had been sick for the past two weeks, including the lead actress, Whitney Blair Miller, who despite her sickness, delivered a believable portrayal of Elle Woods.
Skillfully directed by Teresa Waldorf, with assistance from music director Roxanna Jackson, choreographer Pamyla Stiehl and stage manager Jason McDaniel, the performance was enhanced by the scenic design of Mike Fink, costume design of Bayne Tilton, lighting design of Zach Hamersley and audio design of Timothy McHenry.
From the pink halls of the Delta Nu Sorority to the hallowed halls of Harvard Law, the cast turned in a worthy performance that captured the magic of the original movie, and allowed several cast members to truly shine. Besides the stellar performance of Miller, other cast members who delivered in their roles were Eric Wills as Emmett, Taylor Caprara as Brooke, Royce McIntosh as Callahan, Saige Perchy as Paulette and Natalie Johnston as Serena. Johnston totally stole the show with every on-stage appearance. Other notable performances were made by Erynn O’Brien as Enid, Curen Feliciani as Warner and Kady Nordstrom as Vivienne, while Carissa Lund turned in the most outstanding ensemble performance, consistently amazing the packed house with her incredible dance moves and abilities. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the two canine members of the cast, who stole the hearts of cast and audience alike with their portrayals of Bruiser and Rufus.
By all means, you should definitely head out for a great night of theater and catch this show. Tickets are available at the UMArts box office and online at GrizTix. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on November 25, 26 & 30 and December 3, as well as at 2 p.m. on November 26 & 27 and December 4. There is a talk back with the cast following the November 25 performance.