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Mini-breaking? Omigod, Legally Blonde is a great idea!

Contributor:
Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee

Legally Blonde. You may recall this was a hit 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Luke Wilson. This was turned into Legally Blonde The Musical in 2007 by some enterprising producers.

It’s been a hit in the US and the UK ever since, Oh My God-ing its way to Sydney to open on October 4, 2012 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

If you’re in Sydney anytime soon, I highly recommending watching this production starring Lucy Durack as the very blonde, very pink, Elle Woods.

Co-produced by Howard Panter of the Ambassador Theatre Group and John Frost OAM, and directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, this musical is a great Saturday night event or a great last-afternoon-in-Sydney end to a mini-break.

I dragged along my friend and her husband who are decidedly not theatre-goers and who graciously put up with me scouring the programme going “but look at the talent they’ve got!” By intermission both had given it a definite thumbs up; they might not go eight times like some of us “sad musical buffs” would, but they both agreed it was hilarious – and we all had ‘Omigod You Guys’ stuck in our heads 3 hours after the show.

Lucy Durack (most recently Glinda in the original Australian cast of Wicked) definitely embodies the character of Elle and perfectly delivers some hilarious one-liners to great effect.  Her talent is clear as a triple-threat; she performs a dance number in Act One which had me furiously calculating how many months it would take me to learn the same intricate choreography, and Elle’s changing motivations for attending Harvard are clearly portrayed. I was a little disappointed that there were no Defying Gravity Moments – no big, ballsy songs that made you want to leap to your feet and clap. Durack has a lovely voice and it would have been nice to see her fully use it in an “anthem” song – if any musical could pull it off, it’s this one.

Rob Mills and David Harris (both also of recent Wicked fame as Fiyero) are fantastic as Warner and Emmett – although Harris gets the best emotional arc and in my opinion the best songs Mills gets one or two moments to shine, and both have amazing voices.

Legally Blonde The Musical definitely brings the funny – like the movie it turns the notion of the blonde brainless bombshell on its head and it makes the audience laugh at every opportunity. The Greek Chorus, made up of Elle’s former sorority sisters all have great voices, their choreography down pat and have excellent comic timing. The two dogs used both deserve a mention for the “aww” factor – every time one of them came on Elle could have revealed she was secretly a brunette and the audience wouldn’t have noticed.

Helen Dallimore was the absolute stand-out performance for me. She has had an absolute myriad of big roles during her career including playing Glinda, but from the very first production of Wicked opposite Idina Menzel (this basically makes her royalty in the Wickedverse.) As Paulette the hairdresser she effortlessly gets some of the biggest laughs and also the most powerful number of the performance in my opinion: ‘Ireland.’ If you go and see this show for any reason, go for her.

Cameron Daddo as Professor Callahan really drove the story as well – his poise and control as a bloodthirsty lawyer and the delivery of his signature song ‘Blood in the Water’ was spot on – I really enjoyed his performance.

The storyline of Legally Blonde The Musical much like the movie will stay with you for a little while – but not forever.  For me it needed a little less “Omigod” and a little more “Oh, my God”, but then again this musical has a very specific message of “you can achieve anything you want to with hard work, love and positivity!” I came to the conclusion fairly early on that expecting too much gravitas would be a grave error in judgement given the amount of pink before me – you may as well just go with it.

 It’s a great escape of an evening - you’ll definitely laugh and enjoy the talented performances and if you want to leave smiling and with that dratted song ‘Omigod You Guys’ stuck in your head, this is the musical for you.Overall this is an enjoyable performance - it won a 2011 Olivier Award for Best New Musical (the Olivier’s are like the BAFTA’s for theatre, or the British equivalent of the Tony Awards.)

As a great end to your minibreak or a “must-do” event during your stay in Sydney I definitely recommend seeing Legally Blonde The Musical.

 What: Legally Blonde The Musical

Where: The Lyric Theatre, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Buy tickets here.

 

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