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Musicals Extend: Legally Blonde, Priscilla, Stomp

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Legally Blonde, which just received its West End premiere on 13 January 2010 (previews from 5 December 2009), has extended its booking period by nine months at the Savoy Theatre, where it is now taking bookings through to 20 February 2011 (having previously been booking only to 23 May 2010).

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 – our Whatsonstage.com Awards sweetheart who, this Valentine’s Day, will be hosting the Awards Concert for a third year in a row (See News, 19 Jan 2010) - 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.

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 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 extension news:

  • At the Palace Theatre, the European premiere of Australian import Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical, starring Jason Donovan, has also added nine month to its booking period. Opened in the West End on 23 March 2009 (previews from 10 March), it has now extended to 26 February 2011. Adapted from the 1994 Oscar-winning cult Australian film starring Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving and Terence Stamp, Priscilla follows Sydney drag queen Mitzi (aka Tick) and her two fish-out-of-water friends, Felicia (Adam) and transsexual Bernardette, as they head west across the desert to Alice Springs in their battered old bus.

    Like the film, the musical is fashioned around disco hits including \"I Love the Nightlife,\" \"I Will Survive\", “Shake Your Groove Thing” and \"Finally\". It’s directed by Simon Phillips, designed by Brian Thomson, choreography by Ross Coleman, and costumes by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner. Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical stars Australians Jason Donovan (Mitzi/Tick) and Tony Sheldon (Bernadette) and Brits Clive Carter (Bob) and Oliver Thornton (Felicia/Adam). The London production has been nominated for seven of this year’s Whatsonstage.com Awards, including Best New Musical.
  • At the Ambassadors Theatre, Stomp, which transforms the junk and clutter of urban life into a source of rhythm and dance, has added six months to its schedule and is now taking bookings through to 19 December 2010. After international touring success, Stomp, which originated in Brighton in 1991, had its West End premiere in September 2002 at the Vaudeville Theatre, where it ran for five years before transferring to the Ambassadors (See News, 5 Sep 2007). A revamped version, with new “surround sound” music and routines, was introduced last year (See News, 6 Feb 2009). Stomp was created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas.

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