Some technical difficulties... opening day jitters, maybe
If you’ve ever seen the movie Legally Blonde, you’d know that 3 key ingredients made it an amazing cocktail; genius comedy, gorgeously stunning leads, and a powerful (albeit sometimes very well hidden) message. If you loved the movie then get excited because the musical has hit Singapore.
Musicals are not for everyone, as most people prefer to just watch a movie. However, Legally Blonde is the perfect starter musical for people who’ve never been to one.
Funny and light-hearted, Legally Blonde retains its core message and the spirit of the movie – never judge a book by its cover (or hair colour).
While there’s a strong underlying message, what it really excels at is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are only a few moments that the try to be overly serious. By sticking to its quirky and comedic nature, it subtly sends its message while keeping the audience laughing and making them able to connect to the characters.
The songs are both engaging and catchy and the cast does really well with the material. The lead’ Elle Woods, the Delta Nu sorority queen and fashionista, is played perfectly by Maris Fernandes, and you’d be forgiven to think that Reese Witherspoon herself was on stage.
Elle is an extremely intelligent, likeable character that happens to also be a blonde valley girl who most women would envy. Fans of the movie will find that the musical has done a great job bringing the story from screen to stage – even though a couple of scenes didn’t exactly transfer perfectly, they made it work. The courtroom scenes are particularly well done.
However, while this was a great show it wasn’t perfect. The dance routines were quite basic, and not very well laid out. I felt they could have been much better done. The dancers weren’t fully rehearsed and at times were all over the place and not in sync with each other. The transitions were a bit messy, and not perfectly coordinated.
My biggest issue with the show was something I always praise as the “secret hero” – the technicians and deckhands that make everything work behind the scenes. Unfortunately, there were times where the tech crew really dropped the ball.
During a sequence where the actors on stage are synchronized to a video being played on the backdrop screen, someone forgot to pause it during a “pause” in the interaction and let it run through. This left a very awkward space of silence and people staring wondering what was supposed to be going on. While it may have only been a minute it seemed like hours.
The second tech crew mistake was an insane amount of static over the microphone system that made most of the audience cringe and unable to hear the song being sung. The last mistake was during a characters dramatic monologue the microphone just cut out.
However, the cast on stage performed admirably, pulled through and managed to keep the show alive. It could have been the case of opening night jitters, but thankfully, it only got better as it went on.
If you’re a fan of the movie or looking for a good entry into enjoying the theatre, I definitely recommend Legally Blonde. While not perfect, it was still an incredibly funny and engaging show.