BWW Reviews: LEGALLY BLONDE
Legally Blonde opened in Melbourne to a standing ovation that was well deserved for a particularly talented cast . This production is slick. From beginning to end it has everything a musical comedy needs. It's light, camp and fun with a clever score from Laurence O'keefe and Nell Benjamin that combines humorous lyric with catchy vibrant melodies.
The energy of the show is infectious, it permeates through the cast and is transferred like a gift on to its audience. If you took Legally Blonde at face value you would be forgiven for thinking that it was nothing more than a "fairy floss" musical...with a whole lot of sugar and not much substance. This show is anything but that. It has heart.
Lucy Durack takes on the role of Elle Woods and transforms her from Southern Californian MTV style queen to Harvard Law school graduate with style and flair. It is unfortunate that her costumes don't match her performance. They seem outdated and at times ill fitting. They detract from what is a wonderful performance from Australia's leading lady of Musical Theatre.
Davis Harris as Emmett, Elle's mentor through Harvard is nothing short of perfect in this role. His vocal ability coupled with a sublime acting performance makes you warm to him instantly and truly barrack for him to win the girl.
Rob Mills broods as Elle's sweetheart turned ex Warner Huntington III. Every moment Mills has he excels in and he has a great balance between schmaltz and lovable charm. Helen Dallimore as Paulette, Elle's hairdresser, is spot on vocally throughout the evening. Her relationship with Kyle the UPS guy played effortlessly by the particularly talented Mike Snell is a highlight of the evening. Some of the acting and spoken voice choices made by Dallimore and the creative team are a little questionable but overall a fine performance. Cameron Daddo as legal eagle Professor Callahan is particularly affective. Not only does he act the role with conviction he sings it with the same confidence and conviction.
The ensemble are heavily featured throughout the performance and do an outstanding job. Their cameo roles coupled with their singing, dancing and energy give the show a drive and force that doesn't let up from start to finish. Having seen 'Legally Blonde' in another major world city without this energy I know that it is paramount to its success.
The orchestra under the superb musical direction of Kellie Dickerson packs and punch and handles the contemporary score with skill and precision. Coupled with this is a faultless sound design by ACME supervised by David Letch and operated by Joy Weng.
Legally Blonde is one of those shows that you just cannot help but feel happy after seeing. It has all the ingredients of a successful musical comedy. It deserves a long life in Australia and with such a talented cast, I have no doubt it will continue to thrill audiences across the country.
The Princess Theatre Melbourne
Until September 28