Legally Blonde by The Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, PA
November 21, 2017
Review submitted by Victoria Kline of Academy of the New Church
Pom-poms, puppies, and fashion-advice met with the competitive realm of Harvard Law in the Agnes Irwin School’s production of Legally Blonde this weekend.
After being dumped by her boyfriend who says he’s looking for someone more “serious,” sorority girl Elle Woods takes on Harvard Law to prove she’s the one he wants. With the help of a determined law student, a compassionate manicurist, and a falsely accused fitness trainer, Elle discovers that the only person she needs to prove herself to is herself. Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture, Legally Blonde is an upbeat musical about love, loyalty, and finding one’s true calling.
The stage was brought to life by the students of Agnes Irwin with ever-increasing energy and strong background vocals. The Delta Nu sisters, Elle’s tried and true posse of loyal friends, kept spirits high on the stage in numbers like “Omigod You Guys” and “Bend and Snap,” and in larger numbers energy soared as the house itself was filled with pom-poms and Irish dancing.
Acacia Pressley starred as Elle herself, tackling the difficult musical score with power, pizazz, and a startlingly clear tone. Leading alongside Pressley, Nick Shaffer’s enthusiastic acting abilities found their outlet in the character Emmett Forrest, Elle’s new Harvard love interest.
Standouts among the supporting cast included Wren Francis as Paulette, a quirky and sweet manicurist who dreams of finding love in Ireland, and Fiona Moser as Brooke Wyndam, a fitness trainer wrongly accused of murdering her husband. Francis’ wistful vocals and indefatigable smile lit up the stage, and Moser performed a difficult solo perfectly, while jumping rope. In “Whipped Into Shape,” Brooke teamed up with a talented ensemble of prison women to put on one of the best numbers of the night, complete with spot-on execution of choreography and impressive vocals.
Accompanying the energetic cast were fun costumes and a minimalistic but well-executed set, which provided a good backdrop while letting the actors take center stage. Although some technical errors occurred, the cast persevered and spirits stayed high throughout the whole show.
Lighthearted yet surprisingly deep, the Agnes Irwin School’s production of Legally Blonde showed the importance of loving yourself for who you are: blonde, brunette, or anything in between.
Review submitted by Namita Rao of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
With a lot of pink and overflowing energy, Elle Woods tackles stereotypes and scandal and proves that even a Harvard lawyer needs some flair! The Agnes Irwin School’s production of Legally Blonde was an unmissable performance.
Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the popular movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde follows the transformation of Elle Woods as her life is turned upside down when her boyfriend Warner breaks up with her to attend Harvard Law. With her charm and wit, Elle pursues her ex to Harvard to win him back and Elle comes to realize her potential.
The cast never failed to exceed expectations. Elle’s friends, the Delta Nu sisters, brought energy and life into every dance, especially in “Omigod You Guys,” where they perfectly captured the typical sorority girl group. Also, the girls in “Whipped Into Shape” made singing while jumping rope and dancing look effortless!
Acacia Pressley’s rendition of Elle Woods was unforgettable. Her positive attitude and strong voice commanded the theater. She brought the character to life with her perky body language and interactions with the other characters. Her chemistry with her ex-boyfriend Warner, played by Kevin Bonnell, was admirable. Everyone in the audience could relate to her experience pining for a guy. Nick Shaffer captured the bookish role of Emmett Forrest well, although his chemistry with Elle was lacking in a few scenes.
Lia Della Porta’s rendition of Vivienne, Warner’s new girlfriend was perfect. The audience wanted to hate her stuck-up, overachieving, wealthy character, but soon grew to love her. Her solo was short but powerful, as well as Fiona Moser’s solo in “Whipped Into Shape,” where she embodied the spunky role of Brooke Wyndham. Wren Francis brought the role of Paulette, Elle’s hairstylist-turned-best friend, to life. She wowed the audience by keeping her hilarious accent consistent during her solos.
A simplistic set was used, but was still effective and versatile. The costumes were also accurate to the early 2000s time period as well. Amidst some sound issues and spotlight misplacements, the crew did a great job transforming the stage to fit the story.
All in all, the Agnes Irwin School’s talented cast in Legally Blonde proved that blondes can do anything!