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Review: Legally Blonde The Musical

There’s a guy in our row, doubled over and howling with laughter; indeed, it appears the entire Court Theatre is pretty much a-quiver with peals of laughter, hoots and guffaws.

The theatre’s great pink hope for summer, Legally Blonde the Musical has been slaying audiences around the world with its feel good female empowerment tale, and has found an enthusiastically appreciative audience on opening night.

Bright, bold and super sassy, LBTM sees sorority sweetheart Elle Woods following her man to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back after being unceremoniously dumped. Sticking closely to the movie’s script, it’s Americano bravado on ‘roids, saccharine sweet and featuring an outrageous display of talent from a stellar cast lead by the plucky and kind-hearted, Ellie Neal, who's channelling a hybrid of hyper bubbly blondes from Alicia Silverstone’s Cher in Clueless to Reece Witherspoon's performance in the movie on which the musical is based.

She’s ably supported by the vivacious Ali Harper as salon gal pal Paulette Bonafonte, a scene-stealing Lucy Porter as Sapphic frump Enid Hoopes, and Cameron Douglas as the self-made perfect match Emmet Forest. The show is jam-packed with explosive musical numbers on one of the most elaborate and multi-tasking sets in Court Theatre history; it's not hard to find yourself caught up in the soap bubble pop hits of ‘Blood in the Water’ (led by the charismatic Roy Snow as Professor Callahan), ‘Bend and Snap’, and the powerhouse performance of Olivia-Newton-John's-‘Physical’-inspired ‘Whipped into Shape’, performed by the super fit Kira Josephson as Brooke Wyndham, the fitness queen on trial for her husband’s murder .

While the Riverdance scene will go down as one of the most joyous routines ever to grace the Court’s stage, it’s offset by the cringe-inducing ‘There Right There’, which sets the gay movement back decades. Otherwise, it’s a flawless performance. Legally Blonde the Musical
To 27 January
The Court Theatre
courttheatre.org.nz

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