If you've finally worked your way through the last of the Thanksgiving pecan pie and are ready for another guilty pleasure,
, a national touring production at the Academy of Music this week, may be just the confection you're looking for.
This lively, hot-pink musical, filled with good-natured empowerment messages and sparkly costumes, is not as funny or as smart or as charming as the movie, but it's funny and smart and charming enough to provide an entertaining night out.
The plot: Even the Malibu girls of Delta Nu, a perky chorus of loyal friends, can't bring Elle Woods (Becky Gulsvig) out of her "shame spiral" after she's dumped by her blueblood boyfriend, Warner Huntington III (Jeff McLean). But once Elle learns that he prefers Vivienne (Megan Lewis) - "someone serious, someone lawyerly, someone who wears black when no one is dead" - she sees her future clearly: She will pursue him all the way to Harvard Law School.
Equipped with a 4.0 average in fashion merchandising and a killer head shot, she is accepted by Harvard, and there discovers, with a little encouragement from teaching assistant Emmett (D.B. Bonds), her new love interest, that she's not just another gorgeous blonde.
Of course, she also needs a salon to get her through the hard times, and local hairdresser Paulette (Natalie Joy Johnson), the inevitable plump sidekick, provides both manicures and advice.
Meanwhile, back at Harvard, slick Professor Callahan (Ken Land) takes on a murder case, defending fitness diva Brooke Wyndham (Coleen Sexton), but it's Elle, using all her beauty expertise, who cracks the case and saves the day. Yay for the smart blonde!
The voices are often too shrill and too loud to catch all the lyrics, but the big production numbers really work. Outstanding are "Whipped Into Shape," a dazzling display of cast members' ability to jump rope and sing simultaneously, and the very funny Riverdance parody. Dark, quiet and sinister, "Blood in the Water" provides a moment of relief from the relentless perkiness.