Moms and daughters who want to bond should have a blast at Legally Blonde. Based on the perky 2001 movie about Elle Woods, a Malibu airhead who enrolls at Harvard Law School in the name of love, the musical — though targeted at a teen audience — succeeds in circumventing the banality of a High School Musical. Songs like "Blood in the Water" (smoothly delivered by Ken Land as an unctuous professor) are savvy and smart, and the frenetic physique-celebrating choreography devised by director Jerry Mitchell goes a long way to disguising the fact that the show's so-called message about believing in yourself is a pale shade of pink.
The Fox Theatre's acoustics are not kind to the actors when they're going all-out. But when the pace slows down to a point where we can actually understand what's being said, the characters are rather endearing. Lauren Ashley Zakrin's plaintive Elle is a Barbie doll come to life. Zakrin reminds us of how many points an attractive performer can score with a wink and a smile.