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1st Night TV: Legally Blonde’s Pretty in Pink Gala

By • West End
Sheridan Smith was pretty in pink for last night’s opening gala of Legally Blonde (See Also Today’s 1st Night Photos & Review Round-up). In the screen-to-stage musical, Smith stars as sorority girl turned Harvard Law student Elle Woods, the part played by Reese Witherspoon in the 2001 Hollywood film.

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). But, while the critics may have been absent for the opening, celebrities were in plentiful supply.

And so were our TV partners at Reelkandi, who managed to interview Sheridan Smith and co-stars Duncan James, Alex Gaumond, Jill Halfpenny and Peter Davison, while also getting reactions from audience members and celebrities including Bob Geldof, Jason Isaacs, Sian Phillips, John Partridge and Maria Friedman, sister of producer Sonia Friedman. This video feature also includes a sneak peek of performance extracts from the show.

In the musical comedy, which premiered on Broadway in April 2007, ex-Blue pop star Duncan James is Elle’s heartbreaker college sweetheart Warner, Alex Gaumond is new love interest Emmett, Peter Davison is Harvard professor Callahan, Jill Halfpenny is Paulette.

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.

Amongst the other celebrities attending the opening gala performance and post-show party at the Waldorf Hilton were: Neil Pearson, Zoe Tyler, Verity Rushworth, Angela Rippon, Douglas Hodge, Caprice Bourret, Graham Norton, Siobhan Dillon, Tara Palmer-Tompkinson, Stephen Mangan, Summer Strallen, Britt Ekland, Kathryn Drysdale, Brenda Edwards, Kim Medcalf, Claire Sweeney, Brenda Blethyn, Matthew Warchus and David Tennant.


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