Monday, January 25, 2010
Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G. Bartner, Ambassador Theatre Group, Bud Martin, Adam Zotovich, Jamie Hendry Productions and Act Productions in association with MGM ON STAGE, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber present LEGALLY BLONDE, The Musical. Music and Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin; Book by Heather Hach. Based on the novel "Legally Blonde"by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture at the Savoy Theatre, London.
As the lyrics in the opening song of this musical goes, "Omigod You Guys, Omigod You Guys" just look at the list, above, of producers that needs to be in line to get a musical on. OHMYGOD!!!!!! It had better work.
OK. After the shows that I have blogged from my London visit whose general tenor is SERIOUS, and because I had seen a scene from the musical featuring the court room scene: "There! Right There!" and loving it ("Is he European or Gay?"), I thought it important to see at least one West End musical. Really important. I felt it my duty to at least balance out my theatrical time in London with a demonstration of a broad palate of taste. I don't want to give the impression of being a terribly SERIOUS guy with no sense of fun. And as this show is also the newest "cab off the rank" and therefore, still pretty perky in it's energy, I felt sure that I would have a decent time.
And guess what?
It was more than a decent time. It is really fun. Although there is not a single song that one can hum 10 minutes after leaving the theatre, although the story of a legally blonde gal who decides to get her man by doing a law degree at Harvard Law School and succeeding with the support of the sisterhood of lots of other women, but score a better man, is ridiculously stupid, the show has enough silly and predictable jokes and bouncy choreography (Jerry Mitchell, also the Director), colourful Set (David Rockwell) and Costumes (Gregg Barnes), COLOUR AND MOVEMENT galore, to help one to suspend one's disbelief and have a really great two and a bit hours in the theatre. Certainly the very young audience about me, who whooped and screamed, literally, with delight indicated that they, Ohmygod, just loved it. OHMYGOD so did I.
Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods is super. Jill Halfpenny as second banana character, the beauty parlour creative, Paulette Buonufonte, with the passion for the Irish is a scene stealer. Aoife Mulholland as the Fitness Expert is hilarious. The men, Duncan James, Alex Gaumond and an old Dr WHO refugee, Peter Davison fulfill all the book and musical requirements with the right capacity of ease and varying degrees of sexual appeal for their characters. The support team of singer/actor/dancers are all, at this time, giving all their unbridled, disciplined selves to entertaining us.
I hear that this show was a surprise hit on Broadway and I can't see why this perfectly harmless but delicious fluff should not be in London as well. It even has two live dogs on stage, on cue. OHHHHHH.
Now will this get to Sydney and the rest of Australia? Why not? It is a great sorbet of fun in an unhappy world.