Monday, May 21, 2007
I can't believe a cynical gal such as myself was so enanamored with a musical as fluffy, frivlous and just plain fun as Legally Blonde. While several notable critics insist its prime audience is perky teenage girls, I thought it was highly entertaining for slightly older gals and even -- gulp -- a bit empowering. It reminded me that some dreams can come true if you hang in there and keep believing.
Actually, I know snobby theatergoers will attack me for saying this, but the characters in Legally Blonde seemed more real to me than the characters in LoveMusik, even though those characters -- Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya -- were real. I was surprised at how easily I could relate to the struggles of the Legally Blonde characters, while the ones in LoveMusik rarely felt more than two-dimensional.
I could certainly identify with Elle's plight of not being taken seriously by her supposedly sophisticated Harvard Law School peers. When you're a journalist who's worked for magazines about soap operas and romance novels, you get used to it.
I could identify with Emmett because I too come from a working-class family, and when I see people my own age or younger buying apartments with downpayments that their parents gave or lent them, it both frustrates me and makes me determined to prove that I can do it on my own.
And I could identify with Paulette, the lovelorn hairdresser who's afraid to take another chance at love but ultimately dives right in.
Now I like Sondheim as much as the next musical theater geek, but I also love Jerry Herman. And I don't think that simply because his shows are upbeat and full of hope that they're any less significant theater pieces.