The Playgoer: "The Search for Elle Woods"

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"The Search for Elle Woods"

The Times' Mike Hale watches MTV's new casting-by-reality-show ordeal for Legally Blond, so I don't have to.

Will it help or hurt 25-year-old Emma that she looks like Reese Witherspoon, the original Elle Woods, and that her father, the director Jerry Zaks, has won four Tony Awards? Will Lauren, the 18-year-old with the dead eyes and the forked tongue, become the designated villain? Is blond hair — natural or otherwise — an advantage?


[Current star Laura Bell Bundy] is a legitimate star at the center of a grueling production, and she’s currently giving theatergoers as much singing-and-dancing value for their $120 as anyone on Broadway. Based on the first episode the gulf between the 27-year-old Ms. Bundy and the 10 fresh-faced, likable, lightweight hopefuls in “The Search for Elle Woods” — average age 22 — is so vast that we seem to be watching two different musical-theater species.

But that’s just kvetching. (Especially when the original musical filled only 63 percent of the seats at the Palace Theater in the week ending May 25.) These young hopefuls are better suited than Ms. Bundy for one thing, of course, and that’s getting women their own age to watch a reality television show. They give the impression that they were plucked from the sidewalk outside the MTV studios and haven’t stopped squealing since.

Anyone out there brave enough to watch it yet?

(Didn't know about the Jerry Zaks factor!)

1 comment:

Stephen R. said...

I watched it and like a car wreck or a train that has jumped its tracks, I was mesmerized.

It's almost worth it - - almost - - to see the completely cuckoo panties girl (whose name I will never remember) say to the camera, with absolutely no irony whatsoever...

"The dream of becoming Elle Woods is slipping away."