The show follows the story of Elle Woods, a young woman from California who is suddenly heartbroken when her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, breaks up with her claiming he needs a girl who is ‘less of a Marilyn, more of a Jackie’. Determined to prove to Warner that she is serious, Elle follows him to Harvard Law School where things don’t work the same way they do in sunny Malibu.
This particular production, by Savoyards Musical Comedy Society, had some lovely moments, although there were a few aspects of the show that didn’t thrill in the way audiences have come to expect from Legally Blonde: The Musical.
The thing that I believe let this production down the most was the lack of energy. Maybe that was due to the fact that the show-stopping dance numbers we have come to expect weren’t included, or possibly because of opening night nerves.
Another issue was a lack of character development from the majority of the cast. I felt as if they were two dimensional props instead of fully fleshed out human beings. I hope that as the season progresses the cast settle in and begin to feel comfortable playing with their motivation and character arcs.
An honourable mention must go to Natalie Ridoutt who, in the role of Paulette, carried the show from start to finish with her comedic timing and incredible voice. A truly heartfelt and memorable performance – brava!
Another mention must go to Sofie Christofis in the role of Margot. She had the audience in fits of laughter with her kooky and charismatic performance.
In the design department there were some fantastic achievements as well as questionable outcomes. The set for the most part was extremely detailed and did transport the audience into the world of Elle.
Even though there seemed to be no originality in its design, it served it’s purpose. In terms of costume design, there were some great moments. However the seriously ill-fitting dress suit chosen for Elle, a fashion merchandising graduate, was an overlooked detail that couldn’t be ignored.
The sound design was lacking overall. This musical has a stunning overture which aptly underpins the journey the show takes you on, however the volume was grandma “can you keep it down” low. This may have contributed to the lack of energy I felt. There were times when I couldn’t hear the actors over the band or I couldn’t hear the band clearly over the actors. There were music cues that felt quite sloppy and some of the songs sounded muddy. Whether the band required more rehearsal, or a better system for micing the instruments, I hope this can be attributed to opening night technical issues that have since been addressed.
Legally Blonde: The Musicals plays through until the 19th of March. Head to www.savoyards.com.au for further details.