Ireland (And Reprise!)

Ariel Victoria Rubin, aged 19, *is* Paulette Bonafante, the Beautician with a Heart of Gold, in CMT’s Production of Legally Blonde The Musical. (She’s also My Brilliant Daughter)
[Sorry for the Particularly Lousy Camera Work, I was trying not to disturb the audience by covering my viewing screen while sitting behind a Giant Head.]
Here Ariel sings the “East End Version” lyrics in her Act One showstopper, “Ireland.”
According to Legally Blonde writers Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, the lyrical change was first made for London audiences.
“The interesting thing about ‘Ireland’ and London, [is that] it’s originally written for this woman who really romanticizes the country and the concept of Ireland, which she knows nothing about,” Benjamin said. “This is not something that resonates so much in England. They do not romanticize Ireland.
They seem to be rather afraid of it, in fact.”
O’Keefe added, “We had this wonderful actress in London, Jill Halfpenny, she’s fantastic [and] she’s smart. She comes across as wise in a way. We worked with that a bit and said ‘This is a wised-up person.’ The American version of Paulette turned out to be a person who was still, in many ways, deluded.”
According to Benjamin, “It’s not so much that she’s just in love with the country, [it’s that] that Irish men do something to her. In the new version she was told by her grandfather, who she obviously trusted, that Irish men were the best in the world. So she never goes and looks up Ireland, because she believes what she was told and she has this dream.”
While the duo initially thought the rewrite would be specific to the London production, Benjamin said, ” As it turned out, cracking it open really led us to a wonderful direction with the character, so much so that we then wanted to put this version in the tour….”
And so, current productions such as this favor the ” London Version”, and Rightly so!

You’re lost without your love.
Your heart is on the floor.
I can help you, I been there before.
When I need to relax,
I just put on some tracks
From this CD I bought for the store.
Isn’t that relaxing? It’s called “Celtic Moods.”
See my mom was three quarters Italian,
And my father I never knew.
But my grandfather came from…Ireland!
The land where dreams come true!
ELLE (dubious)
PAULETTE (confident)
He said all Irish men are like heroes.
They’re descended from poets and kings.
So I swore I’d get married in Ireland,
In a wedding like Lord of the Rings.
And my redheaded groom: I could see ‘im!
As we stroll past the churches and farms,
He’s a sailor named …Brendan! …or Liam!
He can dance without movin’ his arms.
In a bar once I met this guy Dewey.
And he bought me like fourteen beers.
And he told me that he was from Ireland.
And I lived with him ten years.
And my wedding? He kept on postponing.
Still I followed him ’round, in a fog,
Til he left with some skank he’d been boning,
Took my savings and took my dog.
My grandfather shoulda just shut it!
Ev’ry story he told me steered me wrong.
All the dreams that he gave me got gutted.
All that’s left is this weird Enya song.
But hey, you should not give up on Ireland:
Just be careful you don’t get played.
And don’t drink til you’re tearing your top off,
And you flash the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
See a smart girl like you has a future.
You have hope, as each new day dawns.
Girls like you always get to see Ireland.
Send my love to the leprechauns.

(spoken) Elle, if a girl like you can’t win back her man,
then there is no hope for the rest of us! You go and you fight for him!

(sung) The Irish fear nothing and no one
They keep fightin’ ’til everyone’s dead
I’m not sure where this metaphor’s goin’
I just felt like it had to be said

There’s a guy at that party who loves you
Something most of us only dream of
You go out there and you get some Ireland
The country of whiskey and love!!!

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