Legally Blonde is a 2007 musical with music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and book by Heather Hach. The story is based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film of the same name. It tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. She discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others, and successfully defends exercise queen Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial. Throughout the show, no one has faith in Elle Woods, but she manages to surprise them when she defies expectations while staying true to herself.

Legally Blonde premiered in pre-Broadway tryouts in San Francisco, California. In April 2007 the show moved to Broadway, opening to mixed reviews and disappointing sales. Jerry Mitchell directed and choreographed. The original cast starred Laura Bell Bundy as Elle, Christian Borle as Emmett and Richard H. Blake as Warner. It received seven Tony nominations and ten Drama Desk nominations but did not win any. The West End production opened in January 2010 at the Savoy Theatre. The West End production was nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards and won three, including the Best New Musical award.

The musical was recorded in September 2007 and aired on MTV in October 2007. Following this, a reality television program was aired showing the audition process for the next person to play Elle Woods on Broadway. The winner was Bailey Hanks, who played the role from July 23, 2008 until the production closed on October 19, 2008. The runner-up, Autumn Hurlbert, was Hanks' understudy


Act I[]

The overjoyed girls of UCLA's sorority Delta Nu, led by Margot, Serena, and Pilar, celebrate the imminent engagement of Warner Huntington III, to their blonde sorority president, Elle Woods ("Omigod You Guys"). The girls send Elle off to dinner with Warner, where he tells Elle that he needs someone more serious ("Serious") and breaks up with her. Elle is devastated and sulks for twelve days ("Daughter of Delta Nu") but comes up with a plan to win back Warner after seeing a picture of his brother's fiancée: "someone serious, lawyerly and somebody who wears black when nobody's dead" ("What You Want"). She decides to chase Warner to Harvard Law School to show him that she can be serious. With help from Delta Nu sister Kate, Elle studies for the LSATs, missing all spring semester parties in the name of love. In place of writing a personal essay, Elle bursts into the Harvard admission offices with Margot, Serena, Pilar, a squad of cheerleaders and the entire UCLA marching band to prove that she is Harvard material. Despite first being turned down, she is ultimately accepted after revealing that she's motivated by love.

Elle's snobby classmates disapprove of her attire, and the only person who is willing to help her out is the law teaching assistant, Emmett Forrest ("The Harvard Variations"). However, he cannot protect her in class with the blood-thirsty Professor Callahan ("Blood in the Water"). Callahan kicks the under-prepared Elle out of class at the suggestion of her classmate Vivienne Kensington, who happens to be Warner's new girlfriend. This tragedy summons the apparitions of the sisters of Delta Nu, who, acting as a Greek Chorus visible and audible only to Elle, tell her to stay positive ("Positive"). Elle, deciding that being blonde is the problem, decides to become a brunette. She heads to the salon The Hair Affair, where she meets beautician Paulette who tells Elle that when she is down, she puts on her favorite CD, and dreams of Ireland ("Ireland"). At the Hair Affair, Vivienne gives Elle a surprise invitation to a "costume party". Paulette sends Elle off with a costume for the party, her positivity and blonde hair still intact ("Ireland Reprise").

Walking into the party as a Playboy bunny, Elle realizes that she has been tricked by Vivienne into thinking it was a costume party, but, with courage, Elle seeks out Warner in an effort to win him back ("Serious (Reprise)"). Warner still does not take Elle seriously. Elle runs away from the party, only to run into Emmett. Emmett, who raised himself from poverty through hard work, is unimpressed by Elle's love problems. He slowly gets Elle to re-examine her priorities till she realizes it's her very obsession with Warner that keeps her from buckling down and earning his respect. Finally freed from her need to please Warner, she defeats Warner in a classroom debate ("Chip on My Shoulder"). Warner and Vivienne win two of Callahan's coveted internship positions, and Warner proposes to Vivienne on the spot right in front of Elle. Before Elle's heart can break, Emmett shows her the internship list. Below the names of Vivienne, Warner, and classmate Enid Hoopes is the name "Elle Woods" ("So Much Better").

Act II[]

Callahan, Emmett, and the four interns are studying the jump rope workout video of their newest client, fitness mogul Brooke Wyndham ("Whipped into Shape"). Brooke's stepdaughter, Chutney, is accusing Brooke of murdering Brooke's much older husband. Callahan and the interns visit Brooke in jail, but are unable to extract an alibi from her, until she is alone with Elle. Elle recognizes Brooke as a former Delta Nu member. Swearing Elle to secrecy, Brooke reveals her alibi: she was getting liposuction on the day of the murder. Not willing to betray her Delta Nu trust, she asks Callahan to trust her when she says that she is innocent. Callahan then releases his rage on Emmett. Emmett begs Elle to break her promise. Elle refuses, but then offers to help impress Callahan in a different way by taking Emmett to a department store ("Take It Like a Man"). The results impress both of them.

Back at the Hair Affair, Elle is getting a manicure when in walks the sexy new UPS man, Kyle. Paulette is nothing short of stunned, but she is too shy to talk to him, believing that she has nothing to offer. As she bends down to pick up the package, however, Margot, Serena and Pilar are summoned by Paulette's amazing "Bend and Snap", where the girls are now visible not only to Elle but also to Paulette. The sorority girls tell Paulette to use the "Bend and Snap" on Kyle, but when she does, after his return to look for his stylus, she accidentally breaks his nose ("Bend and Snap").

On the third day of Brooke's trial, Brooke's pool boy, Nikos Argitakos, shocks the court by claiming to have an affair with Brooke. Brooke denies it, and Elle believes her. Elle tries the "Bend and Snap," twice, in front of Nikos and gets no response. Elle concludes that he is gay, while Callahan believes him to be simply European ("There! Right There!"). It is revealed by Carlos, Nikos' boyfriend, that Nikos is gay and European.

Later that night in Callahan's office, the interns celebrate Elle's skill. However, after dismissing Emmett and the other interns, Callahan forcibly kisses Elle, who slaps him. In turn, Callahan fires her. As a heartbroken Elle is left stunned in the office, Warner and Vivienne, who both saw the kiss, though Vivienne pushed Warner out of the way before he could see the slap, enter. Warner mocks Elle, but Vivienne tells him to shut up and they both leave. Elle prepares to go home, even though Emmett asks her to stay ("Legally Blonde").

Elle heads to the Hair Affair to say goodbye to Paulette, but before she can leave, Vivienne reveals herself from under a hairdryer and convinces Elle otherwise ("Legally Blonde Remix"). Elle discards her lawyerly navy suits, dons a fabulous pink dress and leads a parade back to the courtroom, along the way picking up her parents as well as Margot, Serena and Pilar, who have flown to Boston to watch her in person. The last person they pick up is Kyle, who takes a liking to Paulette. Back at the trial, Brooke fires Callahan and hires Elle while Emmett, a licensed lawyer, supervises. Chutney goes to the witness stand and her testimony is damning, but Elle triumphs by revealing Chutney's lie with her knowledge of hair maintenance. Chutney accidentally confesses that she was the one who killed her father, believing him to be Brooke, because she hated having a mother younger than herself. Elle's victory is so great, that Warner proposes to her, having been dumped by Vivienne. Elle gently refuses, claiming to have been changed by the experience ("Find My Way").

Three years later, Elle ends up as the valedictorian of her class. Paulette tells the audience that Enid practices family law, Vivienne is training for the Peace Corps, and Warner quits law school to pursue a modeling career. Callahan ran for governor but was defeated, and his wife hired Emmett to handle their divorce. Paulette married Kyle, had two kids, and is pregnant with a third. They live in Worcester, Massachusetts and Paulette bought a new salon. At the end of the graduation ceremony, Elle proposes to Emmett, and Emmett accepts ("Finale").


Original Broadway Cast[]

Elle Woods: Laura Bell Bundy Emmett: Christian Borle Paulette: Orfeh Warner: Richard H. Blake Vivienne: Kate Shindle Brooke: Nikki Snelson Callahan: Michael Rupert

Tour Cast[]

Elle Woods: Becky Gulsvig Emmett: D.B. Bonds Paulette: Natalie Joy Johnson Brooke: Coleen Sexton

Song List[]

  • Omigod You Guys
  • Serious
  • Daughter of Delta Nu
  • What You Want
  • Harvard Variations
  • Blood in the Water
  • Positive
  • Ireland
  • Ireland (reprise)
  • Serious (reprise)
  • Chip on Your Shoulder
  • So Much Better
  • Whipped into Shape
  • Delta Nu Nu Nu
  • Take It Like A Man
  • Bend and Snap
  • Gay or European?
  • Legally Blonde
  • Legally Blonde Remix
  • Omigod You Guys (reprise)
  • Find My Way/Finale

Character List[]

  • Elle Woods
  • Emmett
  • Paulette
  • UPS guy
  • Warner
  • Vivienne
  • Brooke
  • Callahan
  • Margot
  • Serena
  • Pilar
  • Enid
  • Kyle
  • Ensemble