Reviews for Legally Blonde
"Maris McCulley works harder than any one person should have to in a Broadway musical. As Elle Woods, the pink-loving sorority girl who applies to Harvard just to follow a boyfriend, she’s one of the biggest reasons to see the national touring company of “Legally Blonde,” which stopped at the Orpheum Theatre Tuesday night. Marching through song after song after song, McCulley makes the audience root for a girl who, face it, probably doesn’t have blonde roots but embraces them anyway. ... Surrounded by a workmanlike supporting cast, McCulley towers... The show has a lot of energy and a pair of performances that, omigod, make you glad you saw what some touring actors can do."
- Bruce Miller, Sioux City Journal (April 2019)
"Maris McCulley plays the incredibly charming and equally attractive Elle, who hardly has a break between numbers and yet somehow manages to sustain an unrivalled level of energy (spoiler: it must be the Red Bull). With a commanding presence, she carries the musical with her vocal prowess and uncompromising stage presence. She nails heartfelt numbers like ‘Serious‘ and ‘Legally Blonde‘ and moves me with her powerful chops and superb acting. There’s no doubt that Elle is not an easy character to play, and McCulley does it with a confidence that would convince even the most devout Witherspoon fans."
- Vienna, City Nomads (May 2018)
"Leading the cast as Elle Woods is Maris McCulley, clear-voiced and bringing her own unique spunk and unerring strength to the character. McCulley is the kind of person who commands attention the moment she steps onstage, a born leader as she beats to the sound of her own drum, endlessly optimistic and a pillar of perseverance. Being onstage for almost the entire musical isn’t an easy feat, and McCulley does this with aplomb, maintaining that limitless, Red Bull-powered energy throughout. McCulley simultaneously captures the blonde stereotype while completely subverting it with her natural charm and full commitment to the character. McCulley excels in high energy numbers such as ‘So Much Better’, bringing an earnest, can-do spirit to her character that forged a connection with the audience, making us immediately want to root for this unlikely, underdog heroine every step of the way. Meanwhile, McCulley also showcases genuine emotion in ballads such as ‘Legally Blonde’, and her performance alone is one of the biggest reasons this production of Legally Blonde is as good as it is." - Bakchormeeboy.com (May 2018)
"A dynamic comedienne and singer in the lead role ... Actress wins case for 'Legally Blonde' at Broadway Palm. Much of the show’s success can be attributed to the crucial casting of Maris Fernandes as Elle. A wisp of a woman with huge blue eyes and a powerful, crystalline voice, Fernandes is a ringer for Witherspoon physically and vocally. But she makes the role her own. Appearing in nearly every scene of the two-hour show, she maintains impressive, unwavering energy and enthusiasm through one musical number after another."
- Drew Sterwald, News-press.com (2012)
"Maris Fernandes brings effervescent charm to her Elle Woods. The actress has an effortless radiance that recalls the qualities Witherspoon brought to the role. Fernandes handles the vocals well, tosses off the sassy quips with glee and obviously adores the pink, pink and more pink fashion parade. Fernandes dazzles as the bubbly, blonde Elle" - Chris Silk, Naples News (2012)
"Prather Entertainment Group, owners of Dutch Apple, mounted this show previously at their Florida and Arizona theaters. What they've got now is polished gold, almost as glittery as Maris Fernandes, the blond beauty playing Elle Woods. ... [She] can sing, dance and make audience heartstrings go zing." - Marty Crisp, Lancaster Online (2012)
"Maris Fernandes, as Elle, helps make this musical fun. She’s an engaging actress & makes us like her character." - Nancy Stetson, Florida Weekly (2012)