Bend… and snap! Elle Woods is in the house and she’s here to bring it down with her hilarious and awe-inspiring antics while getting feet tapping with catchy musical numbers in Legally Blonde – The Musical at Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands.
Never let a man define your worth – that’s definitely the message that Legally Blonde – The Musical has to share as you hop on this musical rollercoaster and journey through the setbacks and victories of female protagonist, Elle Woods. Elle Woods is a perfect case study of a hopeless romantic who ultimately realises her potential by simply staying true to herself.
The musical is adapted from the critically acclaimed American comedy film of the same name, Legally Blonde, and for fans, rest assured that the musical stays pretty true to the film, with certain parts fleshed out more indepth for the stage. For the unfamiliar, yes Legally Blonde does have romance, where boy meets girl, they fall in love and have a nice ending, but that’s not the focal point. Rather it’s a tale of how a girl starts taking herself seriously and manages to impress everyone, including herself.
And now 11 years after it debuted on Broadway, it is finally premiering in Singapore as part of a tour that included stops across China. Expect a wholesome lineup of over 20 soundtracks, such as Omigod You Guys, What You Want, and Bend and Snap from the 25-man strong cast.
What is unique to this musical as shared by stage manager Kevin Brannick, is that numbers of “places” that the musical takes place in, since it was adapted from a movie. To overcome this, the production team uses three large LED screens to help set the scene from number to number as there are about 25 different scene changes.
There are also numerous characters in the show, which means that most of the cast are wearing and changing wigs from scene to scene and a peek backstage where all 175 costumes in the show are laid out is telling of how frantic costumes changes can get. Yet everyone pulls it off without a hitch to give a stunning performance on the stage.
Our Review on Legally Blonde – The Musical
Right from the start, Maris McCulley, who plays Elle Woods, captures our attention by giving a great performance. Her onstage charisma is spectacular, and she bears an uncanny resemblance to Reese Witherspoon! With her portrayal, it was hard not to cheer her on during her triumphs.
Also of note is Mychal Phillips who plays the role of Paulette – a pillar of support Elle turns to in times of needs. Her relationship with Elle is both tender and compelling – and her and Maris have dynamic onstage chemistry.
Likewise, the performance of the suave, smooth, and smizing Warner Huntington played by Mark LaDuke also upholds the same intensity and energy levels that complemented Elle’s quirky, wide-eyed personality. He also has a great sense of comedic timing, essential as his character is the one who delivers most of the punchlines in the two-and-a-half hour-long musical.
In the Legally Blonde film, Emmett as a character is not really explored much and hence when he gets together with Elle at the end, we were left slightly underwhelmed. This isn’t the case in the Musical, as we get to know Emmett, who is played by Jayson Speters, better as he is given more airtime and storylines that weren’t in the film. One of this was a scene that took place during the song Take It Like a Man, when the brewing romance and the back-and-forth flirtation between Elle and Emmett become more evident.
There were many great and humorous scenes, but the one that stood out the most was where they were trying to get a witness dismissed and the lyrics in the number, There! Right There! were tastefully composed, with a healthy injection of humour and wit as the onstage cast speculates if Nikos was gay – or just European.
But the thing that got audiences going “Awww…” was when Bruiser and Rufus made their appearance in the form of a real-life Chihuahua and French Bulldog, both who had important roles in the original film.
The musical is a nice throwback to a simpler time, before smartphones and social media took hold of our lives. The musical stays true to the era the film was released, with little mention of fancy gadgets and the Internet; and we don’t mind at all, perhaps because it brings back good memories of the original film. This has been a deliberate choice by the production team, with the only updates to the musical ever since it debuted being made to the year Elle graduated and the costumes, and it’s a good choice we say.
We double Delta-Nu swear that this is a Musical you do not wish to miss, and we genuinely urge all Legally Blonde fans to catch the musical before it disappears from our shores.
See the clip below for what to expect when watching Legally Blonde – The Musical: