Broadway Scene Stealers: The Women

By Ben Rimalower
22 Aug 2013

Leslie Kritzer
Photo by Joan Marcus

3. Leslie Kritzer, Legally Blonde

One of the most stunning examples of scene stealing I've ever been lucky enough to witness was Leslie Kritzer in Legally Blonde. Kritzer's been established within theatrical circles as a mega-talent since her much heralded Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at the Paper Mill Playhouse and the years since have been dotted with several almost-rans for her to cross over into a more mainstream level of success that continues to elude her. We Leslie fans know it's just a matter of time. Still, it was surprising to see her take on such a small role as Serena, not much more than an ensemble track in Legally Blonde.

But there are no small roles for Kritzer. With a mischievous gleam in her eye and a comedian's commitment to her steps, she ignited every moment she was given and even seemed to bubble up to steal focus for a flashing second here and there. There was one particularly satisfying instance, where if memory serves me, time was passing and the girls were celebrating Christmas, briefly punctuated by Kritzer materializing out of the top of the house wielding a Chanukah menorah. I don't know that her character was supposed to be Jewish, but her character had one main purpose above all else and it was to bring joy to the audience. I remember watching the MTV broadcast of Legally Blonde (taped after Kritzer's departure from the production) and being shocked at how very little Serena actually did in the show. The magic was all Leslie.