Reviewed by Regina Su
The age old parable of Elle Woods’ admission into Harvard Law School has been revisited and brought to the stage by MUSE in their latest production; ‘Legally Blonde’. What a fun musical! There was an electricity in the air as the Everest Theater at the Seymour Centre was awash with pink lights and energetic cheerleading.
After being dumped by her boyfriend for not being “serious enough”, sorority president, Elle Woods, (Kirralee Elliott), has no other option than to chase her now ex boyfriend to Harvard to prove just how serious she can be. In the process, she discovers her worth and realises that reaching her full potential doesn't require her to change. I left the musical feeling empowered and inspired, and that’s to the credit of the production team and ensemble.
MUSE’s production seemed like so much fun. It was very fast paced, with overwhelming musical styles; lyrical quips, story-heavy songs, quick transitions. It would be easy to get lost in the flurry of pink, however the tale is told with precision and clarity. We are swept along this sensory experience, which was aided simple sets that rolled on and off with ease, and helped us to immerse in the world of Elle Woods. We kept up with the characters as they moved from a sorority house, to a beautician, into courtrooms and lecture halls.
Each character was larger than life, and had quirks and comedic idiosyncrasies, that make them endearing and loveable. Even minor characters had their own side-story; Paulette Bonafonte (Gabi Kelland) and the UPS guy (Lachlan McKirdy)’s performance had the audience excited. Throughout the course of the musical, the audience became more invested in the characters and their antics. The full house became more involved whooping and cheering, and this made the performance feel more theatrical, more melodramatic like a pantomime.
For me, the highlight was the energy of the cast. What a fantastic ensemble! The passion and enthusiasm each actor had for their role brought vibrancy to even the minor characters. There was a “Greek chorus” of Elle’s friends, who not only sang comical commentary to every situation, but danced their way into the next scene. The choreography was polished and exciting- special commendations to Lucy Allen as Brooke Wyndham, who sang while skipping in a mock fitness video. The leading cast were of a particularly high calibre; Kirralee Elliott’s performance of Elle Woods was astounding. Such a dialogue rich role called for a wide range of emotions, and still her vocals were pitch perfect.
Finally, the band were excellent, accompanying the cast, and not overpowering the performance. ‘Legally Blonde’ was terrific fun for a Friday night, that left people buzzing.