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Legally Blonde Starts Tour in Liverpool, Grease

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Following big wins at the Olivier awards and our very own Whatsonstage.com Awards, the hit musical Legally Blonde is set to tour the UK, starting in Liverpool this July.

The tour of the West End and Broadway musical premieres at the Liverpool Empire from 8 to 16 July 2011 before continuing around the UK. Tickets for the Liverpool run go on general sale from 10am on Thursday 17 March 2011.

Legally Blonde The Musical picked up four gongs at the 2011 Whatsonstage.com Awards, including Best New Musical. Nominated for five Olivier Awards it went on to win Best New Musical, the Best Actress in a Musical prize for Sheridan Smith and Best Supporting Role in a Musical for co-star Jill Halfpenny.

Based on the 2001 Hollywood film in which Reese Witherspoon played California sorority girl Elle Woods, the show is directed by Tony Award-winning and Olivier Award-nominated choreographer Jerry Mitchell.

College sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods doesn't take no for an answer. So when her boyfriend, Warner, dumps her for someone serious, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and heads for Harvard Law School accompanied by her loveable Chihuahua, Bruiser.

Howard Panter, joint chief executive of producers and theatre owners Ambassador Theatre Group said: “ATG’s co-production of Legally Blonde The Musical is enjoying great success on the West End and we have now decided to take it out on its first ever UK tour so regional audiences who can’t make it to London can experience this fantastic show. The Liverpool Empire is one of ATG’s largest regional houses and this grand venue will make a fitting home for the premiere of a tour which is set to replicate the success of the West End run. I am sure Liverpool people will take Elle Woods to their hearts and give her the warm welcome that the city is so famous for.”

Legally Blonde opens at the Liverpool Empire on 8 July where it will run until 16 July. Additional tour dates have been confirmed as Bristol, York, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stoke, Birmingham, Manchester at the Opera House from18 - 29 October, Torquay and Sunderland. Casting and full tour dates are still to be announced.

Legally Blonde received its West End debut at the Savoy Theatre on 13 January 2010 (previews from 5 December 2009) having transferred from New York where it opened in April 2007.

The current West End cast is led by Susan McFadden as Elle alongside the principal cast of Denise Van Outen, Alex Gaumond, Siobhan Dillon, Susan McFadden, Carley Stenson, Simon Thomas and Peter Davison.

Legally Blonde has music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book by Heather Hach, set design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and Paul Miller, sound design by ACME Sound Partners and orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke.

It's produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G Bartner, Ambassador Theatre Group, Bud Martin, Adam Zotovich, Jamie Hendry Productions, Matthew Byam Shaw and Act Productions.

In other musical touring news Grease, which closes at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre on 30 April, has announced it will embark on a national tour from the Edinburgh Playhouse on 6 May 2011.

Touring for the first time in over five years Grease will star ITV reality casting show Grease is the Word winner Danny Bayne who reprises the role of Danny Zuko. He appears alongside Carina Gillespie as Sandy, who currently leads the West End production.

From Edinburgh the tour will play dates in Milton Keynes, Bradford, Southampton, Oxford, Cardiff, Dublin, Torquay, Woking, Manchester, Aylesbury, Blackpool, Sunderland, Liverpool Norwich and Birmingham. The tour will continue into 2012 with further dates in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast, Derry, Canterbury confirmed but still to be announced.

The full cast for the production have been confirmed as: Ricky Rojas (Kenickie), Kate Somerset How (Rizzo), Derek Andrews (Roger), Laura Wilson (Jan), Richard Vincent (Doody), Lauren Stroud (Frenchy), Josh Dever (Sonny), Lois Urwin (Marty), Darren John (Eugene), Sammy Kelly (Patty), Jason Capewell (Teen Angel / Vince Fontaine), Nancy Hill (Miss Lynch) and Sophie Zucchini (Cha Cha).

Currently playing its fourth London run in 17 years, Grease opened on the West End in 1993, running for six years, first at the Dominion and then at the Cambridge Theatre. The musical returned for a short run back at the Dominion in 2001 and at the Victoria Palace in 2002/3. In between, it toured the UK extensively.

Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, directed by David Gilmore (Daisy Pulls It Off, Happy Days, Song & Dance, Footloose) and choreographed by Arlene Phillips (Starlight Express, Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance The Musical & BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing), Grease is produced in the West End and on tour by Paul Nicholas and David Ian and is presented by arrangement with Robert Stigwood.

The current West End production of Grease, with a cast led by Carina Gillespie and Matthew Goodgame holds the record as the longest running show in the Piccadilly's history and is currently playing its fourth year at the theatre.


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