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The Telefile

Bigger, Badder, Blonder

by Angel Cohn June 3, 2008 10:41 am
Bigger, Badder, Blonder

Glutton for punishment (and Broadway junkie) that I am, I felt compelled to tune into the premiere of Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods last night. While this new reality series, which will make the hopes and dreams of one lucky perky wannabe actress come true, it is not living up to my fantasy Broadway reality casting show (which looks something like A Chorus Line) it is far better than the Grease: You're The One That I Want drek that was pawned off on unsuspecting Americans looking for a good cheery American Idol-esque show last summer.

Since they are starting with a subpar musical, the chances of this series being good were already slim to none but I watched anyway mostly because I worship at the altars of choreographer/director extraordinaire Jerry Mitchell and the "ah-maz-ing" (his catchphrase) Seth Rudetsky (his Broadway Chatterbox show is fabulous and fascinating!). And because I wanted to see if they would make the wannabes wear the majorette hat that Elle sports during the first act which Laura Bell Bundy told me weighed a ton, when I talked to her last year. That would prove if these girls really have what it takes to make it on Broadway. Instead they did a bit of dancing, including some Elle Woods bending and snapping, and had to sing the act one finale "So Much Better." I don't know how the judges survived it, and they were remarkably nice to some girls who I thought were pretty off-key. Where's the Simon Cowell? Where's the equivalent of A Chorus Line's Zach who would have no patience for the flubs of those who were just having a bad day? Hell, where's the nutty Paula Abdul? I'd even take that. Better yet, let Seth Rudetsky be a judge instead of forcing him to give vocal lessons an sit behind a piano all day playing the same number over and over and over again for the girls.

And don't even get me started on the nothingness that is Haylie Duff. Sure she's got Broadway credentials (such as they are) but she's nearly invisible as the hostess, and adds nothing to the show aside from her massive pair of clompy boots. She's supposed to add a little bit of energy and personality as we're guided along through these random audition rounds, and mind numbingly long eliminations and she's just there. Making the eliminations even more tediously painful that I would have thought possible. Where's the funny girl from Saved? Can someone write her a better script?

I'll give the show another shot, because it is summer and The Paper is over and I've got nothing else going on besides The Mole (awesome!) on Monday nights, but I'm not especially hopeful that it will ever wow me. Now if they decided to do Xanadu: Search for the Next Kira, I'd be glued to the television, because it takes extra talent to act out campy cheese and roller skate and sing and make it fun.

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