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Legally Blonde Soundtrack
Annaleigh Ashford belts out "Omigod You Guys" to open the Broadway musical version of Legally Blonde. It's a fabulous opening number in typical, post-Godspel Broadway style. The conceit of a "Telephone Hour" tune, a la Bye Bye Birdie is an apt device for a "teen" musical. Like Birdie, Blonde really isn't teen, but has that Hairspray appeal. The musical, one of several in a trend made rampant by the success of The Producers, came to the Great White Way with a built-in audience from the silver screen. Although the show is loosely based on the film, which was in turn based on Amanda Brown's novel, the names and characterizations are largely the same, as is the sense of irreverent fun and the victorious underdog. Laurence O'Keefe's music and Nell Benjamin's lyrics are ideally suited to the project, and the "musicalization" of the movie is completely successful. The show even features a couple of live dogs (holy Sandy Batman), although they don't figure prominently on the CD.
The original cast recording of Legally Blonde: The Musical features a few real star turns. The first, and most obvious is Elle Woods, the lead, played by Laura Bell Bundy. She made a name for herself originating the role of Amber in Hairspray, and will certainly be around for a long and memorable career. Ms. Bundy recently did a stint at the club Birdland, in New York, singing honky-tonk and country blues for an admiring audience and some critical acclaim. She's got a whole Patsy Kline thing down, and brings a freshness and lighthearted power to a diva dominated season. The second remarkable voice belongs to Orfeh in the role of Paulette, a supporting role. She delivers "Ireland" in a venerable "character" actor tradition, while displaying a lovely instrument and elegant phrasing. This tune isn't directly derivative of material from the movie, but works well in the show.
Several of the hot tunes are ensemble numbers, which reflect the breakneck pacing of the stage version and a Family Guy succession of on-liners and asides that make it work. Questions like, "Is he gay, or European?" abound. "Bend And Snap" has a whole "Oh Ricky, You're so fine" feel. The ensemble is tight and punchy, and the gag from the film works pretty well in this expanded bit. When the vocalists do their stop-time lines over the drum patter, the recording gives you a nice "you are there" vibe. There's also a "Greek" chorus of frat boys, assisting Emmett (Christian Borle) when he needs to have an introspective moment. Thankfully, this isn't Carousel or Rent, so introspection doesn't have a big part in the themes of the drama. Legally Blonde: The Musical is a non-stop fun, rollicking romp through Harvard yard. The music is happy, the characters perky, the lyrics witty and contemporary. Now that satellite radio has a "Broadway" station, it's just the sort of thing we'll be hearing more of.
By Dave Morgan
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|Record Label:||RAZOR & TIE/GHOSTLIGHT|
|1.||Omigod You Guys - Annaleigh Ashford, Leslie Kritzer, DeQuina Moore & Laura Bell Bundy|
|2.||Serious - Richard H. Blake & Laura Bell Bundy|
|3.||What You Want - Laura Bell Bundy, Annaleigh Ashford, Leslie Kritzer, DeQuina Moore & Kate Wetherhead|
|4.||The Harvard Variations - Christian Borle, Noah Weisberg, Natalie Joy Johnson & Manuel Herrera|
|5.||Blood In The Water - Michael Rupert|
|6.||Positive - Laura Bell Bundy, Annaleigh Ashford, Leslie Kritzer & DeQuina Moore|
|7.||Ireland - Orfeh|
|8.||Ireland (Reprise) - Orfeh|
|9.||Serious (Reprise) - Laura Bell Bundy & Richard H. Blake|
|10.||Chip On My Shoulder - Christian Borle & Laura Bell Bundy|
|11.||So Much Better - Laura Bell Bundy|
|12.||Whipped Into Shape - Nikki Snelson|
|13.||Take It Like A Man - Laura Bell Bundy & Christian Borle|
|14.||Bend And Snap - Laura Bell Bundy, Orfeh, Leslie Kritzer, Annaleigh Ashford & DeQuina Moore|
|15.||There! Right There! - Laura Bell Bundy, Michael Rupert, Christian Borle, Nikki Snelson, Kate Shindle, Richard H. Blake, Natalie Joy Johnson, Amber Efe, Manuel Herrera & Matthew Risch|
|16.||Legally Blonde - Laura Bell Bundy & Christian Borle|
|17.||Legally Blonde (Remix) - Kate Shindle, Natalie Joy Johnson & Laura Bell Bundy|
|18.||Find My Way/Finale - Laura Bell Bundy & Orfeh|
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