In 2001, Reese Witherspoon captured the hearts of many with her portrayal of Elle Woods in the hit movie, Legally Blonde. It’s a timeless tale – fast forward seventeen years later and its message of girl power is still relevant and more inspiring than ever, proving that the story of it has never gone out of fashion. This current touring production of the musical adaptation, which recently stopped off at Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, is a total breath of fresh air.
Legally Blonde tells the story of Malibu girl Elle Woods, a sorority sister who enrolls in Harvard Law school in an attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner and prove to him she is serious and more than “just a blonde”.
With innovative staging and set design, clean-cut choreography, hilarious one-liners, and songs that will be stuck in your head for days, the story is brought to life and developed even further on stage, easily making it one of the best shows to arise from the era of modern musicals.
Rebecca Stenhouse takes on the role of Elle Woods like a duck to water. Her vocals are a masterclass that any singer can learn from, and her stage presence oozes passion and confidence. Taking on the role of Elle can be daunting considering how renowned Reese Witherspoon is for it, but Stenhouse has reinvented it for the stage – maintaining all of the character’s important attributes and injecting little shots of her own personality into it.
Rita Simons, having left Eastenders at the start of 2017 after playing Roxy Mitchell for ten years, has taken her new venture of playing hairdresser Paulette Bonafonte under her wing. Paulette is loud, hilarious and has a heart of gold – Simons has ditched her east London image and embraced this new persona with ease. Her flirty relationship with postman Brendan left everyone laughing out loud, and her performance of the song “Ireland” went down particularly well at the Dublin performances.
The rare moments whereby the audience were not laughing or beaming meant that they were collectively saying “aaaawwww”. Not only does Legally Blonde have a fantastic cast, it has two super talented dogs – Bruiser the chihuahua and Rufus the pitbull. The cute canines added an extra dimension of emotion to the show, making it all the more appealing.
The songs in this musical are catchy, fun and meaningful, perfectly capturing the right emotion that both the cast members and the audience should be feeling. “Omigod You Guys” makes you feel excited, “Bend And Snap” is completely tongue-in-cheek and “Legally Blonde” exudes a sense of inspiration and empowerment.
Overall, there is virtually nothing you can fault with this musical. Legally Blonde hits the mark – it’s hilarious, it’s inspirational and it’s heartwarming. It’s rare to feel all three of those qualities at once but this incredible production manages to do just that. It’s a wonderful musical that will leave a long-lasting and positive impression on any audience member that will stay in their hearts long after they have seen it.