As a teen, Legally Blonde was one of those films I watched over and over and over again. One of my favourite movies to put on when I needed a pick-me-up, I think the VHS tape must have nearly been worn out I used to rewind it and hit play so much.
I think nearly everybody knows the story but if you don't, I'll give it to you in a nutshell. A girl from UCLA (Elle) is unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend (Warner) so she decides to follow the love of her life to Harvard Law School to try and win him back. It's a tale of love - not just love for others but of self love too - and at the end you are grinning from ear to ear and just feel really good.
When I learnt that Legally Blonde the musical was opening in the UK I booked myself, my mum and my best friend in to see it at The Savoy in London so I had seen the production before (although this is going back a good few years). I was unsure how the story would translate from screen to stage but I was pleasantly surprised and ever since that first visit to the theatre I have been itching to see it again.
Now when it comes to presents, Ryan is very astute. And as soon as I saw that Legally Blonde was going on tour and coming to the Liverpool Empire I would chatter on and on excitedly and bring up how much I enjoyed it as a musical. I wasn't very subtle when it came to dropping hints and low and behold for my birthday this year Ryan surprised me with tickets for the Saturday evening performance.
As soon as we stepped foot into the theatre the atmosphere was electric. You could tell everyone was buzzing for the performance and it was really nice to see the varied demographic that were mingling in the foyer and around the bar. Couples, groups of friends and families alike were all there to see the show which makes sense because Legally Blonde definitely has universal appeal. The strong female character that Elle represents is a role model for slightly older women as much as she is for younger women and the journey she goes through is really inspiring.
And so to the performance itself - with clever set design and good use of lighting from the minute the curtain went up you found yourself drawn into the story even before anybody started singing. The musical numbers are really upbeat and lively and even though you may not know the lyrics to the songs you find yourself tapping your feet along to the beat and smiling to yourself.
The story differs ever so slightly from the film but not so much that the plot you may have loved so much vanishes completely. With minor changes to characters and a slim lined story in terms of that lends itself to a stage production Legally Blonde the musical is a fresh take on a modern classic.
Lucie Jones excelled in the leading role of Elle Woods, with a strong stage presence and powerful voice that belted out the numbers with ease. Her 'Greek Chorus' of Delta Nu sisters and co-stars were also just as strong. But the stand-out of the show was definitely Rita Simons (who played Paulette Bonafonté). I knew she had been a cast member on Eastenders but I had no idea how strong her voice was! She was absolutely incredible, captivating the audience with her command of the stage, her perfect portrayal of Paulette and blowing us away with her solo numbers.
And as for my favourite musical numbers? I definitely found myself humming and singing along to 'Whipped Into Shape', 'There! Right There!' and 'Bend and Snap'. (Can you tell I listen to the soundtrack on repeat at home?) But they are all equally as memorable and catchy and once you have seen the production you there will certainly be some that stand out more to you than others.
I really wanted to write a balanced review of the show but in all honesty I am struggling to find any negative points other than the performance went too quickly. The show sucks you in so much that all time loses meaning and just as soon as the performance begins you find yourself applauding, whooping and cheering along to the finale.
This run of the Legally Blonde tour makes its closing performances in July, so if you are desperate to see it this time round you'd better get your skates on (head to the website to check out venues).
But if you're not able to catch a performance this time round then keep an eye out for the next tour. With a fabulous storyline, strong cast choices, catchy numbers and the sweetest little stage pup, there's something for everyone and I'll eat my hat if you don't leave the theatre with the biggest smile on your face and singing some of your favourite numbers.
Have you seen Legally Blonde? Let me know what you thought of the show in the comments