Elle Woods is a shallow Malibu fashionista with a degree in accessorising and a longing for beau, Warner Huntington 111, to put a ring on it. Elle and her Delta Nu sorority gal pals are living the California dream where every day is a party and one can never be too rich or too hot! But, despite Elle’s devotion and immaculate dress sense, Warner dumps her before he heads off to college; he needs a ‘Jackie’ not a ‘Marilyn’ to help him climb the ladder to success. Elle sets her sights on Harvard Law School in a bid to be taken more seriously and win Warner’s heart. Can she prove herself to be more than a ditzy ‘legally blonde’ wannabe and find true love along the way?
Lucy Durack carries Legally Blonde the Musical as the effervescent Elle. Durack is fast gaining a reputation as a leading lady to watch after stellar turns in Wicked and the film Goddess. She has a great vocal range and manages to play Elle in all her signature pink glory without spilling into caricature. Beside her in the A-list is Rob ‘Millsy’ Mills, who delivers dynamic vocals and a jawline as sharp as his suits as callous cad Warner. All the best lines, however, go to the cast of comedy sidekicks – from Elle’s ‘Greek chorus’ of pop up life coaches to trailer trash hairdresser Paulette (a standout performance by Helen Dallimore). Cameron Daddo, as lecherous lecturer Professor Callahan, has less of an impact – but he does have the unenviable task of playing straight man to a cast as camp and colourful as Mardi Gras.
Elle, of course, makes it to Harvard and learns that it’s OK to be a babe with brains. Eventually blitzing a high profile legal case, she realises that life – and love – is not all about diamonds and teeny, tiny dogs. As the promos say, being true to yourself never goes out of style. But this show, like the films that preceded it, struggles with its own message. Is it what’s inside that counts, or do clothes maketh the man? Should someone love you for who you really are or for the tight buns you display when performing the patented Delta Nu ‘bend and snap’? There are a few mixed messages here – as well as some lazy stereotyping – but it’s all delivered in such a joyous spirit that it seems curmudgeonly to nitpick.
Slick choreography, laugh-out-loud gags and extremely likeable personalities are what’s made this show a huge success from Broadway to Brisbane. The dialogue is wittier than the film and the incredible dancers will do more than a hundred Biggest Losers to inspire people to hit the gym (or at least the disco). And, Oh My God, the catchy tunes will stay with you for days.
Legally Blonde the Musical is still making its way around Australia (and the world). Check it out if you can!
As always, I must declare that this is NOT a sponsored post. I did get a free ticket to see it, but that came from my beautiful friend, not a promoter 🙂