Theatre News

Legally Blonde Sets UK Premiere for Savoy, 5 Dec

The long-expected West End premiere of Broadway screen-to-stage musical Legally Blonde is now confirmed (See The Goss, 31 Jan 2008): the London production is scheduled to start preview performances on 5 December 2009 at the Savoy Theatre, where it’s initially booking until 23 May 2010. Public booking has not yet officially opened, though the box office is taking requests and group booking is underway.

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

In the West End, Elle is expected to be played by Sheridan Smith, an Olivier and Award nominee for her last musical role in Little Shop of Horrors. Casting has not yet been announced, but also previously tipped in the media to head the UK production are ex-Blue pop star Duncan James and Alex Gaumond, whose credits include Desperately Seeking Susan, Guys and Dolls (See The Goss, 16 Mar 2009).

Legally Blonde has a book by Heather Hach and music and lyrics by husband-and-wife team 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. It’s directed and choreographed by previous Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, The Full Monty).

The London production was originally rumoured to open in late 2008 at the Piccadilly Theatre, but the revival of Grease, which moved in there in August 2007, has extended several times and is now booking through to October with Ray Quinn taking over as Danny. The current production at the Savoy, Lindsay Posner’s revival of Carousel starring Lesley Garrett, is booking until 25 July 2009.

In the US, Legally Blonde closed on 19 October 2008 on Broadway but has since launched an extensive nationwide tour.

– by Terri Paddock