Sheridan Smith got both of her guys, Duncan James and Alex Gaumond, at the after-party for last night’s opening gala of Legally Blonde, in which Smith stars in the title role of Elle Woods.

Producers of the Broadway screen-to-stage import, which has been previewing at the Savoy Theatre since 5 December 2009, have broken with West End convention by inviting critics attend staggered performances prior to the official opening, as is the norm in New York (See Michael Coveney's blog).

A boon for photographers and autograph hunters, the absence of the critical coterie at last night’s gala left room for even more stellar guests. Amongst those attending the theatre and celebrations at the Waldorf Hilton afterwards were: Neil Pearson, Zoe Tyler, Verity Rushworth, Angela Rippon, Douglas Hodge, John Partridge, Caprice Bourret, Maria Friedman, Sian Phillips, Graham Norton, Siobhan Dillon, Tara Palmer-Tompkinson, Stephen Mangan, Summer Strallen, Britt Ekland, Kathryn Drysdale, Brenda Edwards, Kim Medcalf, Jason Isaacs, Claire Sweeney, Bob Geldof, Brenda Blethyn, Matthew Warchus and David Tennant.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF LEGALLY BLONDE’s 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

The musical comedy, which premiered on Broadway in April 2007, is based on the 2001 Hollywood film in which Reese Witherspoon played California sorority girl Elle Woods who follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back.

Sheridan Smith stars as Elle, with ex-Blue pop star Duncan James as Elle’s heartbreaker college sweetheart Warner and Alex Gaumond as her new love interest Emmett (See News, 21 Jul 2009). Peter Davison is Harvard professor Callahan and Jill Halfpenny is Paulette, the hairdresser who Elle befriends. The cast also features Aoife Mulholland and Susan McFadden.

Legally Blonde marks the Broadway and West End directorial debut for Jerry Mitchell, a previous Whatsonstage.com Best Choreographer Award winner for Hairspray and The Full Monty. The musical has a book by Heather Hach and music and lyrics by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe. Songs include “Ohmigod You Guys”, “Serious”, “The Harvard Variations”, “Whipped into Shape”, “Find My Way” and the title number.

The London production is designed by David Rockwell, with costumes by Gregg Barnes, lighting by Kenneth Posner and Paul Miller, sound by ACME Sound Partners and orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke. It's produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G Bartner, Ambassador Theatre Group, Jamie Hendry Productions and Act Productions and is currently booking to 23 May 2010.