Legally Blonde the Musical? Totally the Best We've Ever Seen
Okay, this blog is probably one of the more difficult to write, not because we’ve nothing to say, but because it requires so much self-restraint to stop squealing. Furthermore, the opening track of the show (“Ohmigod You Guys”) is a serious earworm that we just can’t and don’t want to get out of our heads!
Legally Blonde the Musical is PHEN-OM-EN-AL. The team are in agreement that it’s probably one of the best shows we’ve ever seen. It's my favourite.
Based on Amanda Brown’s novel Legally Blonde about her experiences at Stanford Law School and the 2001 movie of the same name, the show tells the story of enduringly positive Elle Woods. Elle is a sorority girl whose only ambition on enrolling at Harvard Law School is initially to win back her super-hot ex-boyfriend.
For many girls in our twenties and thirties, Legally Blonde was a go-to movie at birthday sleepovers and following break-ups when craving some positivity and unwavering self-belief. Because of this, there’s pressure to deliver a performance that will honour the film’s cult reputation, and it like, totally does.
Yes, there are a few differences in this production from the Hollywood blockbuster, but nothing that changes the plot in any significant way. Diehard Delta Nus, fear not.
The show was the perfect remedy to a Monday night where we’re all a little blue and sleepy. This show is all energy, all the time. You’d have to be desperately cynical to have no fun at all, because it’s a total sugar rush. There were plenty of what we assumed were to start with, begrudging boyfriends in the audience, who almost immediately were belly-laughing and cheering our heroine’s sassiest moments.
The show is a proper musical, with little in the way of dialogue. The songs are just so good, and we were delighted to spot the full orchestra as we found our seats. The songs have all the glitter and grandeur of a Broadway show, but they’re so . . . cool. I can just as easily see “Bend and Snap” being danced along to by a group of giggling girls on a night out as on the Grand Theatre’s gorgeous stage.
There are no weak links in the cast at all. They’re all so strong, playing their characters with humour and conviction. Rebecca Stenhouse was our “little Miss Woods comma Elle”, and she was fabulous. She had you on side straight away, with several audible “Aww!” and “Urgh, she deserves better.” comments in hushed whispers rising from the stalls. Her voice is clear and beautifully-toned, and maintaining that level of energy on stage must be no simple task. Gorgeous.
David Barrett’s Emmett Forrest was equally likeable. Every girl needs an Emmett, and David (who we were delighted to learn is a Funny Girls veteran) is obviously a seasoned performer whose voice and characterisation won plenty of swoons from the audience.
Rita Simons’ voice is so good as Paulette! Her performance got plenty of laughs and ‘Ireland’ is an absolutely ludicrous number. Hysterical. Its reprise had us in stitches. Helen Petrovna is so impressive, too. “Whipped into Shape” is our favourite song, and we are at a loss to fathom how she managed to sing it perfectly whilst doing a rigorous routine with a skipping rope. She didn’t even seem to break a sweat!
Also, Laura Harrison's voice as her role as Vivienne? Wow.
There are two very real, very cute and very professional pooches in the production, too! The lovely Rufus is a local doggy, as is tradition for each location the show visits.
For me, the highlight was the courtroom scene as Nikos the pool boy was cross-examined, with Elle and her legal team trying to discern whether he is indeed “Gay or European”. It’s completely over the top, irreverent and hilarious. This is what a great musical is all about, camp wit with its tongue firmly in its cheek.
Legally Blonde the Musical is also really moving, too. There are some bleaker moments where your heart aches for a few of the characters who are having a rough time. The cast handle their character’s moments of vulnerability with sensitivity and grace.
Those are some of my highlights, but I could honestly write all day. The digital team have been sat in the office cheerily humming along to the soundtrack on Spotify today, planning our next visit to the show. As it happens, I’m going back Friday. Bend and snap those tickets up – there aren’t many left!
Also, can anyone teach us the Delta Nu finger snapping routine?
Written by Steph at VisitBlackpool