It is, of course, preposterous: an LA fashion student conquers Harvard law school and becomes a courtroom star. But, for all its absurdity, I found this Broadway musical infinitely more enjoyable than the 2001 Hollywood movie on which it is based.
It is a piece of pure pop-kitsch that, in Jerry Mitchell's production, exists on a level of bubble-headed fantasy that has no connection with reality.
For those who have missed the movie franchise, the premise is simple enough. Elle Woods is a fashion merchandising major suddenly dumped by her beau who wants someone more "serious".
So, clutching her little chihuahua, she gains entrance to Harvard law school, where she is initially mocked for her pink outfits and ditzy style.
But, after reading a book or two, she's accepted as an intern by a top lawyer who's defending a fitness guru in a murder trial.
Using her fashion expertise to crack the prosecution case, Elle is transformed into an American equivalent of George Carman.
Even allowing for the goofiness of the story, there are things that stick in the craw.
Although the score by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin improves as it goes along, it begins with a screeching evocation of sorority life that made me think back wistfully to the seductive choric opening of a 60s show like Bye Bye Birdie.
Heather Hach's book also patronisingly assumes that Harvard professors are gullible jerks and its students militant snobs.
And the story's fashion fetish is pushed to ridiculous lengths: there's a bizarre moment when Elle's one postgrad friend is given a makeover in which his perfectly decent cords are swapped for a trendy, loose-fitting suit that makes him look like the skeleton in someone's closet.
That's unintentionally absurd. But where the musical succeeds is in heightening the story's comedy.
The sub-plot, in which Elle comes to the aid of a lovelorn manicurist, is much sparkier than in the movie: partly because the hand-merchant is turned into a woozy Celtic romantic and partly because her stud-like rescuer, who show-stoppingly announces: "I've got a package", is sufficiently Irish to justify an outbreak of Riverdance.
Even the silliness of the courtroom scene is enhanced by having the sexual preferences of the defendant's pool guy turned into a big production number with everyone inquiring: "Is he gay or European?"
Sheridan Smith as Elle is also far more vivacious than Reese Witherspoon. Smith is perky, trim, and sings and dances excellently.
Blessed with the long upper lip of a natural comic, Smith sails buoyantly through the show with a radiant smile as if warning us not to take it too seriously.
Even the character's transformation from Bel Air princess, claiming "Simon Cowell is our neighbour", to judicial wizard is played less as if it were a feminist statement than a piece of haphazard make-believe.
Mitchell's choreography also gives the show a lift and there is good support from Alex Gaumond as Elle's campus ally, Jill Halfpenny as the messed-up manicurist, and Chris Ellis-Stanton as the hilariously macho messenger boy.
It's worth adding that the producers, breaking with first-night custom, invited critics to a choice of previews.
I can only report that the predominantly female audience with whom I saw the show seemed to be having a whale of a time and did not give a damn about the fact that the musical is little more than a nonsensical fairytale.