LEGALLY BLONDE – Book by Heather Hach ; Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin; Directed and Choreographed by Piper Lindsay Arpan; Music Direction by Mary Dailey. Produced by Parker Arts and Sasquatch Productions (Presented at the Parker Arts Center, 20000 Pike Peaks Avenue, Parker) through July 21. Tickets available at 303-805-6800 or 


There are roles that almost automatically propel a former ensemble member to the front of the line. The role of Elle in LEGALLY BLONDE is one; the actress playing her is on stage in nearly every scene, only disappearing for a few seconds to don a new pink outfit. That role of a lifetime is happening now for local actress Kayleigh Bernier. Not that Kayleigh hasn’t performed in lead roles before. She has done her share of Dorothy’s (WIZARD OF OZ) and Laurie’s (OKLAHOMA), but she has also spent her time in the chorus roles where actors who care develop their chops. She has earned her place in the spotlight, and it shows as she confidently steps on the stage and takes control. Her character may not always be sure of herself, but Kayleigh is. Like Elle, she knows who she is and what she wants.  


It must also be noted that Kayleigh is ably supported by a chorus of Delta Nu sorority sisters/fellow law students/various beauty salon patrons. Standout performances add to the fun. Ali Chung plays Paulette, a semi-dingbat with a heart of gold looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Her advice to Elle is sensible, her motives are pure, and her desire for an Irish boyfriend is sincere. She adds her own special humor to the whole proceedings. Abigail Adele has a resting bitch-face hard to beat . . . until she sees the light and joins the pink parade. Dallas Slankard as the exercise coach who becomes the law school’s client does an amazing job with her “class” of jumping rope fiends. They seriously take part in an exercise class that goes on for at least seven or eight minutes with jump ropes in “Whipped Into Shape” that would kill a lesser dancer. Jenny Weiss plays multiple parts, but her funniest one is as the daughter of the man Dallas has supposedly murdered. Jenny comes on with a frizzy permed wig that stands out to there and brings the house down. 


The men in this menagerie create their own brand of fun. Carter Edward Smith gets to play smarmy for the first time in his long career; he obviously has smarmy genes somewhere in his background because he did it very well. As a law professor, he teaches his students to look for the “Blood in the Water” to know if you’ve won or not. His counterpart – the good guy law student who takes Elle under his arm and makes sure she stays on track – is performed by Andy Ray, a relative newcomer to Denver stages and one I hope we see more of in months to come. His quiet understated performance wins hearts immediately; it’s fun to see his metamorphosis from dowdy to darling under Elle’s guidance. Ethan Walker, usually a featured dancer in shows, takes on a little more serious role as Elle’s politically motivated boyfriend. He’s used to winning, both girls and cases, and can’t quite understand it when Elle surpasses him in everything suddenly. Sam Wersch did a funny turn as Nikos, the pool boy witness at the trial whose non-response to Elle’s “Bend and Snap” routine proves his undoing. Cory Michael Klements makes a late but welcomed arrival as the FedEx man who delivers his little ol’ Irish self to Paulette’s beauty salon. Women even rows back in the audience sat up a little straighter in their seats every time he came on stage. He has an impressive . . . resume. This role just made it a little more impressive. 


Just a couple of small things to work on. The show needed maybe two more tech rehearsals to get all the kinks of changing the sets and timing the quick changes of costumes out. Opening night provided long gaps between scenes waiting for scenery to get pushed into place and people to get on stage with new clothes. But I’m sure that those issues were addressed the next day by the people making those changes happen and will be totally ironed out by the time you see the show. Part of the problem seemed to be that there was so many set pieces to move. Tina Anderson’s sets are always clever and colorful; this one just seemed to have too much going on in nearly every scene to allow for the smooth transition from scene to scene and to allow the stagehands to get off the stage before the lights came back up. Jessie Page’s proliferation of pink costumes played well in support of this show about pink power. 


A family friendly production that everyone will enjoy. Bring your teenage daughters. There are lessons to be learned here. 


A WOW factor of 8.75!! 

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