Sure things are rare on Broadway, but absolutely everyone in the business is predicting an endless run for “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” the stage version of Reese Witherspoon’s 2001 screen comedy about a pink-clad, puppy-toting Malibu sorority girl who follows Mr. Wrong to Harvard Law School, where she finds true love and becomes a successful criminal lawyer. Who am I to disagree? I know a megahit when I see one, and “Legally Blonde” has cash written all over it. What’s more, it’s fairly inoffensive as commercial commodities go, so if your tweenage daughter begs you to take her–and she will–give in gracefully. You won’t be bored….
Tune? You want tunes? Go see “LoveMusik,” a jukebox musical about the open marriage of Kurt Weill (Michael Cerveris) and Lotte Lenya (Donna Murphy). Weill was one of the greatest theater composers of the 20th century, and “LoveMusik” contains two dozen of his best songs, some familiar (“Speak Low”) and some not (“I Don’t Love You”). You won’t hear better music on Broadway–or anywhere else, for that matter….
As for Ms. Murphy’s eerily exact impersonation of Lenya, it’s a tour de force comparable in quality to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Truman Capote. Not only does she get all the surface details right, but she inhabits them so completely that you forget she’s pretending to be someone else–and not even Lenya herself sang “Surabaya Johnny” so well….
If you’ve been hungering for a three-hour-long dose of pretentious silliness, I give you “Coram Boy,” a creepily mawkish tale of two 18th-century orphans that plays like a cross between “Oliver Twist” and “Pride and Prejudice” rewritten by Thomas Harris and accompanied by the music of Handel….
No free link this week. I therefore invite you to go buy a Journal (it’s for sale!), or go here to subscribe to the Online Journal, which will give you instant access to the drama column, plus lots of additional art-related coverage. (If you’re already a subscriber, the column is here.)
P.S. For an alternate view of LoveMusik, go here.