Side effects from watching the Gallery Players' production of "Legally Blonde, The Musical" include: smiling and laughing until your face hurts and humming along to peppy songs such as "Omigod You Guys" days after the show has ended.
But these aren't bad things.
The musical is a dose of sunshine, which is much-needed given the approach of Hurricane Florence.
Chloe Golonka is bubbly and downright adorable as Elle Woods, a young woman who applies to (and gets in) Harvard Law School so that she can win back the love of her ex-boyfriend, Warner Huntington (Parker Harris).
The dialogue is similar to that of the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon, and like it, the musical will make audiences cheer for the beautifully brilliant Elle. In this #MeToo generation, it's right on time. We always hear — don't judge a book by its cover — but most of us do it, regardless.
There's a beautiful line in the show that Elle says to Emmett Forrest (Austin Rowland) — "you saw beyond all the blonde to my mind."
This character is a role model to girls and women alike.
As much as audiences are going to love Elle, they're going to loathe Warner and Professor Callahan (Joe Baker). Harris and Baker do a terrific job of capturing these characters' chauvenistic attitudes. Their singing is amazing as well.
Murryn Payne does a terrific job portraying Enid Hoopes. She provides a lot of comic relief.
Beth Curvin McDade is wonderful as Warner's new girlfriend, Vivienne. She has the preppy girl attitude down pat but maintains a vulnerability. McDade's real-life husband, Connor, stars as Grandmaster Chad, a prison guard and bailiff. Their dog, Theodore "Teddy," plays Paulette Bonafonte's (Debbie Brice) dog, Rufus.
Brice is another standout character as Elle's hairstylist-turned-friend. There's a hilarious scene with Brandon Hunt (Kyle O'Boyle) during the "Bend and Snap" dance number.
Nichelle Crump's choreography, combined with Chris Tilley's music direction, will have theatergoers tapping their toes along to the beat. This is a music-heavy show and although you may not know the numbers prior to seeing it, these tunes stick with you.
From Elle's pink outfits to Enid's hippie chic, Tracy Carey, Carmen Deese, Heather Leonard and Jeannie Proctor have created eye-popping costumes which only highlights these incredible performers.
Director Kate Dahlquist's passion for this show carries over into the set design, which was created by Kate and her husband, Shawn. And their dog, Harlow Dahlquist, stars as Elle's dog, Bruiser.
Dogs are definitely prominent in the show and the Gallery Players hope to give back to the community by partnering with Burlington Animal Services. Representatives will be in the lobby and donations will be accepted (both monetary along with dog toys and beds).
With upbeat musical numbers, eye-catching costumes and incredible performances, "Legally Blonde, The Musical" is an adorable show that the whole family can enjoy.
NOTE: Due to the threat of Hurricane, Florence, this weekend's shows have been canceled. Tickets can be exchanged for performances next week, however, there may be a change in individual seats due to previous reservations. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Sept. 20-22 and 2 p.m. Sept. 22-23 at the Paramount Theater, 128 E. Front St., Burlington. Tickets are $17 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at etix.com or by calling 800-514-3849. The Paramount box office will be closed today through Monday due to the hurricane threat.