@2011 Idaho Press-Tribune

BOISE — Blondes do have more fun — and you will too — when sorority star Elle Woods turns Boise hot pink in the smash Broadway production of “Legally Blonde The Musical,” which runs Feb. 7 to 9 at the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.

“Legally Blonde The Musical” takes you from the sorority house to the halls of justice with Broadway’s brightest new heroine and, of course, her Chihuahua, Bruiser.

Critics and audiences alike have rendered their verdict and they say this much fun shouldn’t be legal.

The plot

Nikki Bohne, a graduate of Brigham Young University in music, dance and theater, stars as Elle Woods, the University of California-Los Angeles Homecoming Queen and Delta Nu president. She is sassy and smart … a dazzling California golden girl and beacon of positivity. Elle doesn’t take “no” for an answer.

The Delta Nu sorority sisters are certain that Elle will soon be engaged to her boyfriend, the eminently eligible Warner Huntington III. But, instead of proposing, Warner breaks up with Elle. He explains he’s going to Harvard Law in the fall and wants someone “serious” in order to fulfill his life plan.

Heartbroken, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and sets out to go where no Delta Nu has gone before: Harvard Law. She devises a strategy to show Warner that she’s “serious.”

Getting into Harvard Law is the easy part. Underestimated by her over-achieving classmates and booted from her first class, she learns that Warner has a new girlfriend. But Elle doesn’t take “no” for an answer and turns things around with the help of new friends and her Chihuahua, Bruiser.

Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.

The musical features hilarious, entertaining and heartfelt songs such as “Blood in the Water,” “Chip on My Shoulder,” “Daughter of Delta Nu” and “Ireland.”

The villain

We had a chance to talk with the production’s villainous Professor Callahan, played by veteran stage, movie and television actor Kahlil Joseph — who gave us an inside look at “Legally Blonde The Musical.”

Callahan is Harvard Law’s merciless criminal law professor. Not since your local haunted house have you met someone so scary. He thrives on causing his students to squirm and demands perfection in his classroom, the courtroom and life.

Joseph made his name on stage with his role as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” in his native India. That role sparked his career in the United States on television, in movies and on the stage.

IPT: What’s it like playing the villain in “Legally Blonde The Musical?”

Joseph: He’s really been a fascinating character to play. It’s always fun to play a bad guy. Callahan has some redeeming qualities but not too many. He’s a superstar lawyer who runs a billion dollar law firm. He pretty much controls the world in his arena of criminal law. He is focused and calculating.

In my opening song, “Blood in the Water,” I am telling students that in order for them to succeed at all they’ve got to be a shark going in for the kill. There are only winners and losers and they are in a war. You’ve got the ones who are dead and those who are alive at the end of the day. The ones who are alive are the only ones that matter. Their job is to destroy, crush their opponent.

I approached the role with simplicity in some ways, preferring that and directness and an economy of motion that I drew from my martial arts background. I like to go from Point A to Point B and not complicate things. Callahan has a God complex and is borderline delusional. I use the whole less-is-more approach. Whereas, the rest of the cast is high octane, high energy, I am completely the opposite. I talk slower, move loser and am a real contrast.

IPT: What can the Treasure Valley audience expect when “Legally Blonde The Musical” comes to town?

Joseph: “Two hours of tons of fun. This show is incredibly entertaining. The biggest success of this musical is it doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you come looking for a heavy, dramatic story you won’t find it. If you come in for two hours of wonderful, brilliant entertainment, a good story, lots of energy and excellent choreography you won’t be disappointed.

“It’s a classic story of the underdog, albeit a glowing pink blonde with a Chihuahua. You’re going to come away uplifted and end up despising me, but I’ve made peace with that. It’s funny because often when we go out to sign autographs people in the audience have trouble separating me from my character and are hesitant to approach me. I encourage them to come up and say, ‘Hi.’”

Comments

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.