One of my favourite ‘chick flicks’ is Legally Blonde. It’s the type of film you can watch multiple times simply because it’s funny, easy to watch and is full of girl power – what’s not to love? The musical is the same and was exactly as I hoped – just as brilliant and entertaining as the original film.
I have never been to the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre so I was very intrigued to see how they would set up a large stage in the middle of the park. Almost like a festival set up, once you enter there are lots of food and drink options along with nice photo opportunities. The outdoor auditorium is spacious, and the stage is big and bold with no props insight.
The music was great, the songs were catchy, and the performances were amazing. I enjoyed every dance routine and outfit change as the full cast worked their socks off to keep the audience entertained and wanting more.
The orchestra is tucked neatly inside the back of the stage (protected from potential rain) and the set is draped in a zoomed image of blonde curls.
The storyline for the Legally Blonde stage adaptation is practically the same as the 2001 classic film but with a modern twist. Elle Woods (Courtney Bowman) is a fashion-loving blonde from Malibu who hopes to marry her high school sweetheart Warner (Alistair Tovey).
The only issue is Warner isn’t feeling so sweet about his relationship with Elle and breaks it off, with the hopes that he will meet a sensible woman at Harvard Law School instead. Heartbroken by Warner’s actions, Elle decides to not give up on love and enrols on the same course as Warner at Harvard. Her journey for love forces her to learn more about herself and opens her eyes to her worth and capabilities. Throughout her journey, she remains authentic but finds new love, makes ground-breaking changes, and becomes a hero.
What I enjoyed about this play was how energetic it was. The music was great, the songs were catchy, and the performances were amazing. I enjoyed every dance routine and outfit change as the full cast worked their socks off to keep the audience entertained and wanting more. The set required little changes and the actors did a fantastic job of creating different scene changes with movement, small props, and cool costumes.
The costume and wig designer (Jean Chan and Queen Bee) and the whole department outdid themselves. I loved how culturally appropriate they were. From Elle’s blonde box braids to her lace front wig cornrows – it’s showcased hairstyles that reflected a modern-day Elle.
It goes to show that you can successfully break the mould and have non-white characters playing roles that were originally all white.
I loved the diverse cast, especially when contrasting it to the original predominantly white movie. Elle was a mixed-race woman who wore braids. Emmett (Michael Ahomka-Lindsay) was no longer a white nerdy man but a cool, black bookworm. Both Paulette (Nadine Higgin) and Vivienne (Vanessa Fisher) were played by two outstanding black actresses. It goes to show that you can successfully break the mould and have non-white characters playing roles that were originally all white. I also appreciated the modern twist to the show through the script, costumes, and props. From Kardashian comparisons to Instagram, this version of Legally Blonde certainly felt more relatable.
I found every cast member exceptional, and I enjoyed watching each actor shine on the stage. Elle Woods (Courtney Bowman) was the main lady, and she certainly didn’t disappoint. She was funny, sassy, and full of life. She had a great voice and an outstanding stage presence.
Paulette (Nadine Higgin) was one of the stars of the show. She acted her socks off and was funny, confident, and energetic. I liked her songs and felt she did an even better job than the original film character.
Emmett (Michael Ahomka-Lindsay) was refreshing and likeable. He had a great voice and was a joy to watch.
Elle’s Greek trio Isaac Hesketh, Hannah Yun-Chamberlain, and Grace Mouat were fabulous! They were hilarious, larger than life and energetic. I appreciated how gender was not a factor in this group.
The full chorus was also incredible, and the show just wouldn’t be the same without them all. The live orchestra was a nice touch, and the songs were catchy. From “Bend and snap” to “Gay or European” (which sounds problematic but was far from it), each song was upbeat and had the audience moving to the beat.
I enjoyed every moment of the play and although it gets very cold thanks to the unpredictable British weather, it was worth freezing outside for. Legally Blonde was far from a cheesy Rom-Com – It was fierce, bold, and fun. I was entertained by every second and will be rebooking to watch it again!