Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Grand Opera House, York

Legally Blonde today kicks off it's return trip to the Grand Opera House in York.

The show made it's first visit to the historic City in August 2011 but the lucky locals are being treated to more blonde fun and Faye magic as it returns for another 5 days.

The current stint runs from Tuesday 4th to Saturday 8th September and you can book tickets by phoning the box office: 0844 871 3024 or online by clicking on the link below.


The below review was written by Charles Hutchinson who saw the show last year. Some of the cast may have changed but you'll see Faye was as brilliant then as she is now.

Legally Blonde Review
York, Grand Opera House - August 2011

Given the insanity elsewhere, a splash of pink, a ray of Malibu sunshine in York, might feel like a guilty pleasure, but hey, everyone needs a perk-up.

Legally Blonde The Musical is the signature signing of the summer at the Grand Opera House – indeed the highest-profile new show to arrive there in years, when it is the norm for York to have to wait its turn down the queue for musicals fresh out of the West End.

York has secured the Yorkshire premiere of the 2011 Best New Musical winner in the Olivier Awards thanks to the shared ownership of theatre and show alike: the Ambassador Theatre Group. Oh, you spoil us, Ambassador, as that daft chocolate advert says, by giving York a fortnight’s run of this sugar-coated, bubblegum-pink American musical spin on the 2001 Reese Witherspoon film: the one where jilted Malibu fashion student Elle Woods follows ex-lover Warner to Harvard law school with her Chihuahua Bruiser and stays true to herself en route to cutting the legal mustard.

You could see it in a bigger theatre, say the West End or from the back row of the Liverpool Empire as yours truly first did last month, but bigger is not always better. The dance routines may be more compact in York, but they are no less energetic, fabulous, sexy or camp, even the infamous skipping-rope centrepiece led by Hannah Grover’s exercise-video guru Brooke Wyndham, when standing trial for murder.

Legally Blonde works so well in the Grand Opera House because it is much more up close and personal, all the better for enjoying Faye Brookes’s glorious turn as the indefatigable Elle. She is pretty in pink of course, but delightfully funny too, emphasising how her character’s nous is instinctive rather than intelligent.

She bounces so well off both brassy Liz McClarnon’s Boston trailer-trash hairdresser Paulette and Elle’s Greek chorus (her inner thoughts represented by all-American girls in a smart innovation in Laurence O’Keefe, Nell Benjamin and Heather Hach’s musical version).

The first half is more of an extended aperitif, where story-telling songs dominate over dialogue, although Dave Willetts excels as cynical lawyer Callahan in Blood In The Water, but the second half is a blast from the moment Brooke whips it into shape.

Jerry Mitchell’s choreography is sharp and hot and fun, the lyrics have more bite and satirical edge too, and a burst of wonderful new characters arrive: first the hard-ball Brooke, next the scene-stealing UPS delivery stud Kyle (Lewis Griffiths) and finally Zak Nemorin’s Nikos and Andy Rees’s Carlos for the Gay or European? courtroom stand-off in the stand-out number There! Right! There!

The tunes are not the most memorable you will ever hear, but they nevertheless hit home time after time thanks to the choreography and lyrics, and every move matters.

Not only blondes are having fun here, so will everyone at this girls’ night out that boys, pink or otherwise, can enjoy too.

No comments:

Post a Comment