November 26, 2014
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Community Players' 'Legally Blonde' wows
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DYNAMIC DUO: Alyssa Gorgone plays Elle Woods and David De Almo is her Harvard Law School buddy, Emmett Forrest, in the Pawtucket Community Players’ production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” now through Oct. 28.

They may be called The Community Players, but their version of the musical “Legally Blonde” is more like a professional production. Don’t expect to see grandiose sets or the most alluring costumes, but do expect to see some incredible talent on the Jenks Auditorium stage in Pawtucket.

Director Kevin Broccoli did a fantastic job pulling together some of the best talent in the area to perfectly suit the roles in the show.

From the first moment of the play, I could tell I was going to be in for a treat – the band sounded great and the first notes out of the singers’ mouths were clear and strong.

Alyssa Gorgone plays Elle Woods, the girl whose journey we follow from Malibu to Harvard. If you’ve seen the Reese Witherspoon movie of the same name, you know how the story goes. If not, it’s a fun tale of one girl’s journey to get people (including herself) to see past her hair color.

Gorgone not only looks the part, she embodies the part. With the poise and grace of a seasoned pro, she works her way through quick changes, dramatic moments, comedic scenes and the difficult pop score. It was a real treat to see someone with Gorgone’s immense talent starring in this musical, which is one of my favorites.

Supporting Gorgone is a trio of sorority sisters played by Lisa Ziniti, Betsy Rinaldi and Jodi Siedelman, who also all have impressive vocal abilities.

Ben Royer does a great job as Woods’ fair-weather boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, and David De Almo is sweet and perfectly suited for his role as Emmett Forrest, Woods’ Harvard pal.

Elizabeth Gotauco gives spice and venom to Woods’ Harvard enemy, Vivienne Kensington. Gotauco also gets to show off her stunning belt in one of the show’s last numbers.

Regulars like Stacey and Greg Geer, a husband and wife duo, return to the stage to play the roles of Paulette and Elle Woods’ father, respectively. Both are theatrical veterans, and it’s fun to see them on the Community Players stage once again. Another regular, Leslie Racine Vazquez, plays the sexy workout video guru Brooke Wyndham.

Geoff White is sleazy as the shark-turned-law-professor Callahan and has the chance to be quite funny as a Harvard admissions director. And Christoffer Larsen is wonderful as Kyle, the UPS guy.

There are also strong performances from some of the ensemble members with featured roles, especially Erika June Pastel, Travis Greene, Meryn Flynn and Michael Rai. There’s also a couple of pooches, Einstein and Tootsie Role, who make adorable cameos.

If you didn’t catch “Legally Blonde: The Musical” at PPAC several seasons ago, then this is your chance to see a top-notch production of the fun, heartwarming and hilarious musical for half the price. Bravo to the cast and crew for bringing such spunk, energy and raw talent to the Community Players’ stage.

“Legally Blonde” runs at the Jenks Auditorium on Division Street in Pawtucket from Oct. 19 to 28. Tickets and more information are available at www.thecommunityplayers.org or by calling 726-6860.


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