by Andrea Gaini
I must have seen Legally Blonde – The Musical at least one hundred times now, but I can never get tired of it. The beautiful story of Elle Woods that moves all the way from California to Boston (and gets into Harvard Law!), to follow the man she loves, has conquered my heart when I saw the fabulous Laura Bell Bundy rocking her pink dress on the Broadway stage and never fails to impress me.
The English version produced by Martin Dood and playing at the New Theatre in Cardiff was almost just as good as the Broadway production.
Lucie Jones, who represented the U.K. at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kiev, played the role of Elle splendidly. Her voice was beautiful and her vocal control absolutely incredible, she never found any difficulties hitting the high notes Elle sings throughout the show. Plus, the beautiful harmony with Emmett at the end of “Take It Like a Man” left me speechless.
The other members of the cast were exceptional and it was clear to tell that they were all professionally trained and experience in musical theatre. Rita Simons as Paulette and David Barrett as Emmett were the other two stars of this production always meeting my expectations and interpreting their characters perfectly.
Unfortunately, I must admit, there was one actor which I was not too impressed by, and that was Professor Callahan. His singing wasn’t the best, which, I think, he tried to cover with his very “explosive” acting. I found him never actually singing, but just acting-singing every piece he had. His interpretation of the Professor was very funny and energetic, but never really frightening, which I thought was a bummer because I quite enjoyed the throw-back-to-high-school feeling other interpretations of him gave me.
However, he did seem a lot of more truthful in the second act which was good to see.
The set was very much in the style of Elle Woods: big and PINK! All the scenes were pretty respectful to the traditional set, but with little changes that made the show unique. The lighting was on-point and the sound was crisp. The orchestra was really good, even though sometimes it felt like they were playing a slow tempo which slowed some parts of the show, especially in the beginning. I noticed this particularly during the song “Oh My God” because it didn’t have the same explosiveness as I was expecting.
One last thing to say before I close up. The greetings at the end of the show were really, really fun! The cast came out to say goodbye to everyone and then started singing small bits of the best songs of the show. In the audience we were all on our feet singing along and having a good time which is what I would always wish for after a show like this: go home very enthusiast and satisfied from what I just saw.