Review / ‘Blonde’ moment turns to triumph!

musical theatre
“Legally Blonde – The Musical”
At the ANU Arts Centre until July 27
Reviewed by Bill Stephens

"Legally Blonde" star Mikayla Williams as Elle Wood.

“Legally Blonde” star Mikayla Williams as Elle Wood.

OMG, you guys! What a triumph!

Presented in Canberra so soon after the national tour, this challenging musical about a bright young woman with blonde hair and a penchant for pink, who enrols into Harvard to win the man of her dreams, receives an exuberant production by Free Rain Theatre.

Superbly cast and imaginatively staged by director Derek Walker, this high-energy production is a delight from start to finish.

As the delightful blonde Elle Wood, Mikayla Williams is real star material. Her singing, dancing and acting are exemplary and it is difficult to look at anyone else when she is on stage.

She receives great support from Dave Evans, excellent as Emmett, and Jenna Roberts, in an outstandingly comedic performance as the hairdresser, Paulette. Damon Grebert-Wade, as Warner, is a bit colourless, but reveals a fine singing voice.

Brian Kavanagh brings exactly the right authority to the sleazy lecturer, Callahan. Zack Drury steals all his scenes as the guy with the box, and Vanessa de Jager, Laura Dawson and Kirrah Amosa excel as the vivacious Greek chorus.

Michelle Heine’s classy choreography is performed with confidence and panache, and the enthusiastic ensemble, outfitted in Fiona Leach’s excellent costumes, provides the myriad of other characters who inhabit Steve and Susie Walsh’s multi-level, free-flowing set.

Some unsolved sound-balance problems meant that Nicholas Griffin’s excellent band often swamped the singers on opening night. No doubt this will be corrected. Don’t miss this one.

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One Response to “Review / ‘Blonde’ moment turns to triumph!”

  1. Dopey
    July 7, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    I saw this production on opening night. The individual actors were pretty good, especially Mikayla Williams, Dave Evans and Zach Drury (and the adorable dogs). However the technical issues that plagued Friday night should be sorted out pronto. There were numerous sound issues and the orchestra were startlingly loud. The set was good in theory (folding out) but didn’t work most of the time, was unfinished and as looked though it was about to fall over. For $60 a ticket you expect a higher standard of technical ability than this – an unfinished, breaking set is unacceptable when you are paying that much to see a show.

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