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Theatre Information

The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre Legally Blonde

By • Jun 26th, 2013 • Category: Maryland, Reviews
Legally Blonde
The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre: (Info) (Web)
Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre, Frederick, MD
Through August 24th
2:40 with intermission
$43-$47/$33-$37 Children 6-12
Reviewed June 22nd, 2013

Right after the rights for a show become available, it is highly likely that one production after another will rotate throughout the entire area. Even when a show has a fantastic script and score, like Legally Blonde, it can start to become tedious and the various productions can start to meld together. There is rarely little left to be excited about in each new production; there are few performances left that could possibly be topped. This, combined with some word of mouth and previous reviews that left much to be desired, might keep audiences away from the current production at The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre. That would be a real shame. This production is, without a doubt, fresh, flawless, and filled with scads of phenomenal performances.

The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre manages to get absolutely everything right. This begins with sets that change quickly into various locations and fill the stage with bright colors and exact details. The excellence continues with a seamless lighting design and top-notch costumes. The excellence reaches a zenith in the creative and fun staging of Director Bill Kiska and the awesome choreography by Dee Buchanan. A perfect example of movement, character, and facial expressions coming together is the number “There! Right There!.” Every little gesture and minute detail comes together for maximum hilarity.

Then, there are the performances. It all begins with Elle (Leah Bebee), that not-so-dumb blonde with a heart of gold. Bebee is sheer perfection, and she absolutely nails this difficult role. She is a complete triple threat, and sings, dances, and acts her way to a believable, loveable, and humorous Elle. Her performance is further enhanced through the amazing chemistry with Emmett (Jordan B. Stocksdale). Stocksdale is sweet yet driven as Emmett. Enhancing the complete character that he creates are his amazingly beautiful vocals. The last few lines of “Chip On My Shoulder” are especially delightful, resting in the sweet spot of Stocksdale’s already gorgeous voice.

In the pivotal role of Paulette, Jaimie Lea Kiska is absolutely delightful. Her comedic timing and facial expressions are without match. She finds just the right moment and delivery for every line. Also unbelievable are the “Greek Chorus” of Margot (Chelsea Bondarenko), Serena (Sarah Biggs), and Pilar (Joey Banigan). Each member of the trio creates a unique and memorable character, and all three ladies have stellar vocals. Another powerhouse performer in this amazing cast is Melissa Ann Martin as Brooke Wyndham. She has an amazing voice, and she finds a real humor and lightness in Brooke that really works. She also manages to hold her own in the massive workout that the role requires.

There are so many standouts in this company. Zane L. Oberholzer, Jr. is sleazy, slimy, and perfectly on pitch as Professor Callahan. Matthew Crawford takes the role of Aaron Shultz and a few other bit parts and makes them truly memorable. Trey T. Kiska has excellent presence and comedic reactions. Megan West is strong and just the right amount of over-the-top as Enid. Zachary Norton is believable as the self-absorbed Warner, and Emily L. Sergo creates a realistic transition as snarky melts away to strong as Vivienne. Laura Walling, Ahjah Prom, and Erica Clare all take moments throughout the show to shine. The entire ensemble works well together, carries out choreography in stunning unison, and creates varied and interesting characters throughout the show.

If I was you, I would do whatever I had to do to “Find My Way” to The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre to see Legally Blonde.

Cast

  • Margot: Chelsea Bondarenko
  • Serena: Sarah Biggs
  • Pilar: Joey Banigan
  • Bruiser: Lana (Hoover-Kiska)
  • Elle Woods: Leah Bebee
  • Saleswoman: Melissa Ann Martin
  • Store Manager: Laura Walling
  • Warner Huntington, III: Zachary Norton
  • Kate: Emily Lentz (Morgan Lash in performance that was reviewed)
  • Elle’s Dad: Samn Huffer
  • Elle’s Mom: Laura Walling
  • Grandmaster Chad: Trey T. Kiska
  • Winthrop: Samn Huffer
  • Lowell: Matthew Crawford
  • Phorzheimer: James Tarrant
  • Emmett: Jordan B. Stocksdale
  • Aaron Shultz: Matthew Crawford
  • Sundeep Padamadan: Joseph Waeyaert
  • Enid Hoopes: Megan West
  • Vivienne Kensington: Emily L. Sergo
  • Professor Callahan: Zane L. Oberholzer, Jr.
  • Paulette Buonofuonte: Jaimie Lea Kiska
  • Dewey: Trey T. Kiska
  • Rufus: Igby (Stocksdale)
  • Brooke Wyndham: Melissa Ann Martin
  • Kyle: Trey T. Kiska
  • The Judge: Ahjah Prom
  • D.A. Joyce Riley: Erica Clare
  • Nikos: Matthew Crawford
  • Carlos: Danny Bertraux
  • Chutney: Laura Walling
  • Ensemble: Joey Baningan, Danny Bertraux, Sarah Biggs, Chelsea Bondarenko, Erica Clare, Matthew Crawford, Samn Huffer, Jaimie Lea Kiska, Emily Lentz, Zachary Norton, Ahjah Prom, James Tarrant, Joseph Waeyaert, Laura Walling, Megan West

Production

  • Director: Bill Kiska
  • Choreographer: Dee Buchanan
  • Music Director: Jordan B. Stocksdale
  • Orchestra Recording: Stage Stars Records
  • Additional and Incidental Orchestra Recording: Joseph Baker
  • Lighting Design: Justin M. Kiska
  • Light Board Operator: Matthew Maestromatteo
  • Sound: Bill Kiska
  • Set Design/Construction: Bill Kiska, Jordan B. Stocksdale
  • Costumes: Bill Kiska
  • Wigs: April Horn of Hair Worx Salon

Disclaimer: The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

This article can be linked to as: http://showbizradio.com/go/9563.

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