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Legally Blonde: The Musical - Theatre Review

Home > Melbourne > Theatre Reviews | Theatre | Musicals | Comedy
by Alison Muirhead (subscribe)
Doting grandmother and grey nomad who should join Volunteers Anonymous and is greatly in favour of a ten day week. So much to do, so little time.
Event: -
From Blonde Bimbo to Legal Eagle
"Glee on steroids", was my friend's opinion after the first act of this popular musical. To our aging eardrums, most of our group found the music grating and the words difficult to understand, as actors adopted American accents and screeched at us as they gyrated around the stage. No worries for the remainder of the mainly youthful audience who cheered and whistled throughout the performance.

Moving into Act 2, our ears must have adapted, because we found it most entertaining and full of good humour. The themes of sexism, loyalty, bullying, sexual harassment, unbridled ambition and the law as an ass, are as old as theatre itself, and appealed to all sections of the audience. Elle Woods, the heroine, triumphs over her initial air headedness and good time girl attitude, essential to keep her position in Harvard's law school. She eventually sees through Warner, the "love of her life", and recognises Emmett Forrest as a genuine contender for her affections.

Legally Blonde owes much to Pygmalion. Emmett puts Elle on track in taking her law studies seriously and Elle puts her fashion degree to good use and does a makeover in return, turning him into a sartorial stud.

The supporting cast are excellent, with such vignettes as Paulette the hairdresser of Hair Affair, her effeminate secretary, the sexy UPS delivery guy, Kyle, and Cameron Daddo as Callahan the womanising law professor, adding greatly to the entertainment value of a light-hearted afternoon's matinee.

The two animal actors, Chihuahua and British Bulldog, were loudly applauded for their excellent training as well as cuteness factor. Was it my imagination, or did the former squat suggestively in its basket? With a dog of my own, I'll back my own judgement, and the laughter of the crowd seemed to support it.

My musically trained ear could not select any of the musical numbers which would become popular anthems. The recurrent chant of "Oh My God" would be anathema to those Americans who still regard "Damn" as a terrible swear word. Stereotypes of the gay community could also rile some members of the audience. One proposal is that a character is either "Gay or European"; hence yet another section of the audience could be alienated.

The scenery is adequate. The most striking scene is that of the gaol setting, where the accused exercise queen, Brooke Wyndham, conducts a skipping class for fellow inmates. The choreography of this segment would take out many a skipping competition. It was the liveliest and most original of the dance sequences.

This production of Legally Blonde is a couple of hours of professionally produced and cast light-hearted and spirited entertainment in which good triumphs over evil. What more can the average theatregoer require?
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Why? To enjoy some light-hearted musical entertainment
When: 12 March to 21 April, 2013 in Brisbane / May 9 to September 25, 2013 in Melbourne
Phone: 136 246
Where: Lyric Theatre, QPAC (Brisbane) / Princess Theatre (Melbourne)
Cost: $45 - $122
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