Published: Monday, April 2, 2012 7:00 am By: JAMES F. COTTER Source: Times Herald-Record

For the Times Herald-Record

ELMSFORD – “Legally Blonde,” the hit 2001 movie, became a Broadway musical in 2007 with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and book by Heather Hack.  Amanda Brown’s 2001 novel “Legally Blonde” tells the story of a girl who signs up for Harvard Law School in pursuit of the boyfriend who has spurned her.  The musical is currently being staged at the Westchester Broadway Theatre under the direction & choreography of Jonathan Stahl, associate director/choreographer is Leisa Mather and musical direction by John Daniels.  With a cast of 21, the stage is full of lively singers and dancers, plus two adorable dogs. This colorful songfest is among the best shows of the year and should not be missed.
As Elle Woods, Kelly Felthous is a force of nature, belting out 16 of the 18 numbers with a strong voice, quick steps and saucy gestures, an original blonde bombshell.   From sorority president to razor-sharp lawyer she never misses a beat, leading “Omygod You Guys,” “What You Want,” “Positive,” “So Much Better” and “Find My Way” almost non-stop.  As the assistant law teacher Emmet Forrest, Christopher deProphetis finally wins her heart in his duet “Legally Blonde” when Elle realizes that her pursuit of Warner Huntington III, handsomely portrayed by Robert Patrick Ryan, is a waste of effort.  His snobbish rejection of her in “Serious,” sets Elle on course for her true identity.  Even Warner’s new lady friend, Vivienne Kensington, a classy looking law student played by Lauren Blackman, eventually rejects him.  Amber Coartney is Enid Hoopes, another law student whose lesbian attitude adds a twist to the action.
Paulette Bonafonte is a hairdresser far outside the Harvard orbit, but Jacquelyn Piro Donovan turns her into a dynamo of humor and wisdom, advising Elle to be her blonde self and not give in to others.  With “Ireland” she shares her dream of the right man in the right place and with “Bend and Snap” she demonstrates how to get his instant attention.  Maria Logan makes Brooke Wynham, a fitness queen accused of killing her billionaire husband, another energy source with “Whipped Into Shape” demonstrating her exercise routine with abandon.  As Professor Callahan, the dictatorial law teacher, Aloysius Gigl establishes the theme of his ruthless classroom methods with “Blood in the Water.”  He later tries to hit on Elle and fires her on the spot when she repels him. 
Brooke Morrison, Michela Imbesi and Gillian Munsayac play sorority sisters who sing their support for Elle, “Daughter of Delta Nu,” and then are transformed as a Greek chorus trio giving her good guidance, “Chip On My Shoulder.”  The ensemble dancing and singing maintain a fast pace that is artistic, athletic and entertaining.  The seven piece orchestra keeps a rock beat moving with lots of momentum.  John Farrell’s simple set design is forever changing with Andrew Gmoser’s elegant lighting effects.  Matthew Hemesath has created myriad fashion designs for the cast.  Elle alone has over a dozen costume changes in the show’s 17 scenes, many taking place in a variety of locations from California to Cambridge.