Lucy Durack to Play Elle Woods in Australian LEGALLY BLONDE

Producers Howard Panter and John Frost today announced the lead cast for the hit musical LEGALLY BLONDE, which will have its Australian Premiere at Sydney's Lyric Theatre on October 4, 2012.  

The role of Australia's Elle Woods has gone to Lucy Durack, best known as the good witch Glinda from the musical Wicked. Durack's other stage roles include Sophie in Mamma Mia!, Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street, Miss Dorothy in the Australian Premiere of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Lois Lane/Bianca in Kiss Me Kate, Rikki Rose in Respect and Laurey in Oklahoma!. She also plays Cherry in the feature film Goddess, due for release this year. 

Playing alongside Durack are two of the leading men from the Australian musical theatre stage, Rob Mills as Warner and David Harris as Emmett. Currently hosting Young Talent Time on Network Ten, Rob Mills first came to prominence on TV's Australian Idol, and was later cast as Fiyero in the original Australian production of Wicked, a role he played for two years. David Harris is best known to Australian audiences for his portrayal of Chris in Miss Saigon, and has also appeared in The Boy from Oz, Mamma Mia!, Damn Yankees, Little Women, Pajama Game, The Full Monty, Wicked and Fiddler on the Roof alongside Topol.

In her musical theatre debut, international fashion model Erika Heynatz will play the role of Brooke Wyndham. Known for her television work, Heynatz was the original host of Australia's Next Top Model and went on to win the first series of Channel 7's celebrity singing show It Takes Two, which led to a record deal with EMI Music. 

Cameron Daddo returns to the Australian stage for the first time in 20 years to play Professor Callahan. After performing in the musicals Big River and The Wizard of Oz, Daddo relocated to Los Angeles where he performed on the big screen in Big Momma's House 2 and David Lynch's Inland Empire, and guest starred on television in Models Inc, FX - the series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Boston Legal, 24, The Mentalist, Without A Trace and NCIS.

Howard Panter, joint Chief Executive and Creative Director of Ambassador Theatre Group, the UK's largest theatre group with 39 venues, said, "Legally Blonde The Musical has been a roaring success on both sides of the Atlantic, critically acclaimed, getting standing ovations night after night, and record repeat business. With this stellar cast I have no doubt Australia will take Legally Blonde into their hearts as well and have an Elle of a party at the theatre. I am thrilled to bring Legally Blonde The Musical to Australia, and that I am producing it with John Frost in our first collaboration." 

John Frost is very excited with the casting of Legally Blonde. "Lucy Durack proved with Wicked she is one of Australia's top musical theatre performers. With her fabulous voice and comic timing, Lucy is the ideal choice as Australia's Elle Woods. Rob Mills and David Harris have both rapidly become the leading men of the Australian musical stage – Rob did a fantastic job as Fiyero in his first musical role, and David has an enviable list of credits. They'll both be terrific. 

"Erika Heynatz blew us away in her audition. I love finding talent in unexpected places and I know she is going to make a wonderful Brooke. And I'm overjoyed to be working with Cameron Daddo again after giving him his musical theatre break so long ago in Big River. This is the perfect role to bring him from LA where he has been so successful, and back to the Australian stage. I love Legally Blonde. It is 100% pure entertainment, and I know Sydney will fall in love with the show as much as I have." 

The Australian Premiere of this award-winning Broadway and West End musical was secured for Sydney with the assistance of the NSW Government through Destination NSW and the City of Sydney.

SEO of Destination NSW Sandra Chipchase said, "With such an outstanding cast, Legally Blonde is certainly going to be a crowd pleaser, entertaining audiences over many months. There is no doubt Sydney has re-emerged as the number one city for first run musicals and is fast becoming a city that producers worldwide are choosing to premiere their musicals.  

"Pursuing blockbuster musicals forms a key plank in the NSW government strategy to boost the economy," she said. Ms Chipchase said Destination NSW estimates that internationally renowned musicals can generate close to $20 million over a 6 month run in direct economic impact.

"We are getting runs on the major events board and further enhancing the NSW Events Calendar. We will ensure that Sydney, the gateway to Australia and NSW, remains number one when it comes to securing and hosting major events in Australia," Ms Chipchase said. 

Now in its third year on the West End and touring to 28 cities across the UK, Legally Blonde is the winner of seven major awards including the Best New Musical 2011 (Olivier Awards). This all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is about knowing who you are and showing what you've got!

Based on the hit movie of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde the Musical is the award-winning Broadway musical created by a creative team led by Tony Award-winning director and Olivier Award-nominated choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray). 

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