Legally Blonde: Reviewed by Mr Digby Don
Bombshell: Nikos is gay AND European!
'Gay and European' is the courtroom showstopper song: the first ‘big reveal’ in Legally Blonde that sets Elle Woods on the path to legal stardom. It was also at this point in the Harrodian production that I deleted what I had planned to write in my introduction to this piece. Nowhere was the talent of the cast, the full range of voices, and choreography better shown-off than in this courtroom moment. As a moment of musical theatre, it was unsurpassed.
Watch our Behind the Scenes film of Legally Blonde in rehearsal
By the time Elle had revealed that a shower should never follow a perm and had given her address, the audience was on its feet. Looking around the theatre you could see parents and pupils and staff enjoying this (smiling and maskless). I was fortunate enough to speak to some of the cast after the show and to witness their giddy excitement was special, to say the least.
Harrodian’s production of Legally Blonde was a great achievement; a feat of directorship, choreography and musical performance, and a slick example of sound and lighting design too.
Digby Don, Harrodian English Teacher
Harrodian’s production of Legally Blonde was a great achievement; a feat of directorship, choreography and musical performance, and a slick example of sound and lighting design too. The cast of fifty eight pupils, ranging from the 11s to the U6th all inhabited their roles with bouncing energy.
Photo Gallery: PART ONE
East Coast meets West Coat when Elle Woods (Alex) moves from Malibu California to Harvard Law, hoping to win back her ex-boyfriend, Warner (Sampson). For those familiar with the story and those recently acquainted with the film - like me - the tale follows a satisfying arc where expectations are exceeded and prejudice overcome, culminating in a triumphant court case where Elle reveals all to set Brooke Taylor Windham (Amber) free.
Alex captured Elle’s humour, as well as her steely determination and indignation. Upon bumping into Warner at Harvard she says, ‘I forgot you go here…’ An Americanism and a perfectly delivered one at that. Egged on by Emmett Forrest (Phoenix) she learns to turn towards her legal prospects and away from Warner. I don’t think anyone could believe that this was Phoenix’s first musical.
Enter: Jamie as Professor Callaghan and Daisy as Vivienne. Callaghan introduces himself to his class of students with the brilliant piece ‘Blood in the Water’ and it was here that I also thought that the very best of the cast was revealed. Voices at different pitches were interwoven with slick choreography and subtle acting. Callaghan was dastardly from the start and Daisy’s Vivienne - even colder than Selma Blair’s - was the perfect villain. Her turn from bad to good was all the more pleasing for it.
In 'Blood in the Water’ the very best of the cast was revealed. Voices at different pitches were interwoven with slick choreography and subtle acting.
This is to neglect Paulette’s story. Amber's Paulette gripped us. It was not only her voice but humour and warmth; she was the underdog that we all knew deserved better. Paulette connects Elle to her sense of purpose and gives her the ‘this is what it's all about’ moment; they win back the dog and Elle says ‘I’m feeling kinda high’. Enter: Kyle the Fed-Ex guy (brilliantly played by Philippos). They fall in love, despite misdirected ‘bend and snaps’ and dances ‘without arms’, much to the delight of the audience.
Photo Gallery: PART TWO
Each individual member of the cast and crew deserves special mention. There is a buzz around school, as there always is when a show is on. This morning, a few people asked ‘how on earth can you sing like that while skipping?’ referring to Amber, playing Brooke. I don’t have the answer but these productions certainly have a way of unleashing something that we had either forgotten or didn’t know was possible.
Photo Gallery: PART THREE