Stirling Community Theatre, Thu Nov 13
Oh My God you guys! Legally Blonde is like totally awesome!
Legally Blonde The Musical was created following the success of the movie Legally Blonde starring Reece Witherspoon from Amanda Brown’s novel of the same name. With music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and book adaptation by Heather Hach, the musical centers around the privileged, blonde sorority girl Elle Woods who gets into Harvard Law School to highlight her serious side in an attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend.
The Hills Musical Company has delivered an energetic, snappy and fun modern musical. Director David Sinclair has assembled an experienced, talented cast of not simply great leads, but an excellent ensemble. Alongside Sinclair, Choreographer Linda Williams ensured the cast executed the complex routines with enthusiastic precision and, as always, Musical Director Mark DeLaine ensured the singers and orchestra sounded wonderful.
Tegan Gully did a brilliant job with the central role of Elle Woods. She has incredible power in her voice, never faltered and ensured Elle had the perfect levels of elation, compassion, bravery and blonde throughout her journey. She was thoroughly enjoyable to watch, as was Elle’s eventual love interest EmmettForest, played by Brady Lloyd. Lloyd achieved a sweet warmth with Emmett that made the eventual assertiveness and confidence built really gratifying.
Experience, professionalism and talent ensured many of the other leads shone. Fiona DeLaine was hilarious as Paulette Bonafonte, Lindsay Prodea got a huge package of laughs as Kyle, Rebecca Raymond ensured no one would want to mess with Vivienne Kensington and Nicholas Bishop’s portrayal of Professor Callahan would give every student nightmares. Matthew Prime provided a solid performance as the cocky Warner Huntington III.
Enthusiasm burst through from the Delta Nu sorority girls led by Margot (Millicent Sarre), Serena (Sophia Bubner), Pilar (Danae Lloyd) and Kate (Michelle Davy) and Shenayde Wilkinson-Sarti guaranteed Whipped Into Shape was one of the standout dances of the show. Other memorable musical numbers included Bend And Snap, Ireland and There! Right There where Thomas Phillips and Mark Stefanoff were fabulously gay and European as Nikos and Carlos.
The dogs were also adorable and stole the audience’s attention as soon as they waddled on; the cast coped well with their on-stage unpredictability.
The set, also designed by Sinclair, worked well in the small Stirling Community Theatre. The projection screens at the back of the stage allowed the audience to be well aware of where the action was taking place without needing large amounts of set. Scenes flowed immediately into one another with no long pauses. The costumes by Sue Winston and Michelle Davy were also a real highlight.
Sound was a definite problem, especially in the beginning of tonight’s performance. Levels both with the orchestra and matching the ensemble and leads together needed work. A greater awareness of diction, especially among some of the sorority girls would also help the audience understand everything they are saying. These are only minor points though in an overall brilliant production that you could easy keep forgetting is actually community theatre.
Legally Blonde The Musical is highly deserving of the sell-out audiences it is getting.
by Bobby Goudie
Legally Blonde The Musical continues at the Stirling Community Theatre until Sat Nov 22.
All images courtesy of Mark Anolak Photography.