Do you know what the best cure for the Monday blues is? A dose of feel-good, candy pink musical theatre. And the Legally Blonde musical has both feel-good and candy pink in spades.
Based on 2001 film of the same name, Elle Woods is out to win back her man by winning a place at the prestigious Harvard Law School. Not easy for a fashion-obsessed, chihuahua-owning homecoming queen. But with a little help from her friends, she not only wins a place, but goes on to show some pretty sassy legal skills too. The film was based on Amanda Brown’s book about her own experiences at Law School; this stage production, which first opened in 2007, adds more songs, more sparkle and brings the house down with a confetti-shower of a finale.
Following in the movie footsteps of Reece Witherspoon is former X-Factor contestant and Eurovision 2017 entry Lucie Jones. Lucie was clearly born to play Elle with a stunning vocal performance, perfect comic timing and an inherent goofiness, not unlike Ms Witherspoon herself. One of the strongest characters in the film is Paulette, the divorced, brassy beautician with a hankering for an Irish man and Rita Simons (last seen at the bottom of a swimming pool in Eastenders) is a perfect match. Another soap opera alumni, Bill Ward, plays the sleazy Professor Callahan, whose sexual advances towards Elle show that #MeToo is certainly nothing new.
And what’s Legally Blonde without a dog or two? We see Paulette reunited with her beloved bulldog Rufus, whilst Bruiser the chihuahua steals the hearts of the audience every time he’s on stage.
It’s two hours of pure energy and escapism, with annoyingly catchy tunes. What You Want is a particular earworm, at the moment that Elle realises that she needs to switch tactics from sorority queen to scholar to win back her man… “Someone who wears black when nobody’s dead”. But the show-stopping song for me is during the second-half courtroom drama, when confronted with a witness who claims to be the suspect’s lover. “There! Right There!” as the legal team try to decide if he’s “Gay or European”
“Gay or foreign fella?
The answer could take weeks
They both say things like “Ciao, Bella”
While they kiss you on both cheeks”
And then there are the dance numbers. Understated, minimalistic… just kidding. It’s a “throw the whole cast on stage” kind of show, from the cheerleading personal essay in the Harvard admissions office, to the Irish dance when Paulette finds out her UPS driver crush hails from the Emerald isle, to the “exercise class in prison” opener to the second act (although it is really a good idea to allow skipping ropes in prison – glowing or not?)
As a show, it seems light and fluffy, but dig a little deeper and its all about friendships, and self-love, and empowerment, and integrity. All wrapped up in a pink, candy-coated bow. It’s silly, it’s sparkly, it’s a triumph. And my cheeks are still aching from all the smiling.
You can still get your tickets to see Legally Blonde The Musical, at The New Alex Theatre until Saturday 26th May. Tickets are available by clicking here or alternatively, you can call the Box Office on 0844 871 3011.
*I was invited to attend this press event by The Ambassador Group, however this doesn’t affect my opinion of the show, and an honest review will be given in all cases. Too honest in some cases.
**All Press Photos were supplied by The Ambassador Theatre Group Limited and used with their permission.
I’m Emmalene, a 40 something with a passion for travel, theatre, food, drink and the occasional accidental hike! I’m a born-and-bred Birmingham native so expect lots of Brum content on here too…