Tags: EU | Britain | Legally | Blonde

'Blonde' Bombshell: London Critics Praise Musical

Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010 06:13 PM


OMG: "Legally Blonde: The Musical" has warmed the hearts of London's crusty theater critics.

The stage show, based on the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon, tells the story of Elle Woods, a bubbly blonde from Los Angeles who discovers her inner strength at Harvard Law School. The show earned a lukewarm reception on Broadway, where it ran for a year and a half before closing in October 2008.

"Blonde" opened Wednesday at London's Savoy Theatre after a month of previews that saw large, enthusiastic and female-dominated audiences embracing its brand of frivolous fun.

Despite themselves, British critics were largely won over, too.

"I tried, I really tried to hate this show, but resistance is futile," wrote Charles Spencer in Thursday's Daily Telegraph, praising the show as "light, fast, fun and frothy."

"The stage show has its tongue in its cheek throughout, it knows it is ridiculous and infantile, and celebrates the fact with knowing wit," he said.

The Independent's Paul Taylor declared the musical "ridiculously enjoyable from start to finish," and a big improvement on the movie. He said the lyrics by Heather Hach were "unflaggingly funny" and the score by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin full of "brassiness, bite, joie de vivre, sheer cheek, and even the odd strain of sadness."

The Times' Benedict Nightingale was another convert, won over by the show as well as the enthusiasm of the audience, who "cheered, whistled and made my cavils seem precious."

The Guardian's Michael Billington was skeptical — dubbing the show "preposterous" — but still preferred the stage version to the movie.

"The plot is pap, the musical unmemorable, the dancing often hefty," said The Daily Mail's often-contrarian critic Quentin Letts, although even he acknowledged that some of the lyrics were "almost worthy of Gilbert and Sullivan."

Like others, he saw a new stage star in Sheridan Smith, who plays Elle. Until now Smith was best known for roles in TV comedies including "Gavin and Stacey" and "Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps."

Besides her singing and dancing, Billington said "Her true star quality lies in a sense of mischief."

Spencer said Smith had "vitality, warmth, great comic timing and sudden moments of touching vulnerability."

The cast also includes Duncan James, a member of boy band Blue, as Elle's Harvard-bound boyfriend, and Jill Halfpenny as a lovelorn hairdresser.

The show was a box office hit even before Wednesday's opening. Critics said they could see the appeal.

"Oh my god, I'm like so totally going again," said The Independent's Taylor.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Michele Bachmann 2016: What 5 Liberal Pundits Say About Potential GOP Presidential Hopeful

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 18:51 PM

Michele Bachmann, a potential GOP presidential hopeful in 2016, seems to be a political target that liberals love to sho . . .

Dick's Sporting Goods Guns: What's Retail Chain's Policy on Selling Firearms?

Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 21:02 PM

Imagine walking into Dick’s Sporting Goods to make a gun purchase, something that’s entirely legal under the Second Amen . . .

RPT-Hedge Funds Raise Bullish Commodity Bets First Time in 5 Weeks

Sunday, 17 Mar 2013 17:13 PM

 . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved