There are surely a lot of GCN readers who will already know the Legally Blonde storyline, either from the 2001 original film starring Reese Witherspoon or through some version of this chihuahua-touting musical franchise, which has been touring the world since its 2007 Broadway debut.
It’s a white American fantasy spectacular about a rich girl who finds her way into Harvard in pursuit of some other privileged brat she thinks she loves. She’s placed as an unlikely underdog, but ultimately comes up triumphant, showing that you can be rich, white and blonde, and still be successful! Right? Oh, gasp. A tale for the ages. Who likes pink sparkly things that grossly stereotype gender, sexuality and race? Well, then you’ll love Legally Blonde, The Musical.
Overlooking the story for a moment, it can’t be denied that the cast is incredibly talented and well-trained. This is the saving grace. For musical loving gays, you will at the very least hear live the intense soaring vocals of Lucie Jones (starring as our heroine, Elle Woods). Lucie represented the UK in the 2017 Eurovision in Kiev. She’s an exceptional performer and hits the mark at every turn. She can sing, she can dance, you might even think she’s a robot she’s so perfect, and just like a shooting star she’s enthralling to watch.
Not perfect on the other hand were the shoddy cheapo touring sets and backdrops, the unremarkable lighting (or lack thereof) and the clunky transitions between scenes. The production value was so low, it felt like a regional school hall effort (incl. ah bless). Some unexpected gems – a door in the ‘Hair Affair’ salon scene that managed to steal the limelight by swinging open on its own twice, the B&Q Christmas garden tube lighting above the stage that limply flashed LEGALLY BLONDE at the end, an apparently drunken follow-spot operator and the two enslaved showbiz dogs. Yes, two actual dogs – someone call PETA.
Fortunately, director/choreographer Anthony Williams very cleverly takes advantage of the lackluster sets by gathering the entire cast and crew on stage for elaborate dance routines at every chance he could. I said step, pause, turn, pause, pivot, step, a step not – step, pause, turn, pause, pivot, step, PAUSE… oh, shudder. Proving that in Ireland you can get away with anything and we’ll still stand and clap like a herd of subjugated seals.
The confetti cannons at the end need no other explanation.
Go see it if any of this sounds appealing to you. The audience will be as entertaining to watch, guaranteed.
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