When I was in fourth year high school, our class performed Legally Blonde the Musical for the Literary Musical contest during the English month, where my classmate Leslie Santos (who played Elle Woods) won as Best Actress.
I feel in love with the musical version right away.
As you guys know, Legally Blonde the Musical is actually based on MGM film Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods and on Amanda Brown’s book of the same title. Legally Blonde is basically the story of sorority star Elle Woods who follows her one true love ,Warner Huntington III, to Harvard Law School. The musical will definitely take the audience from the sorority house to the halls of justice.
Legally Blonde the Musical Manila is produced by Atlantis Productions, Inc. with Nikki Gil as Elle Woods, Nyoy Volante as Emmett Forrest, and Guji Lorenzana as Warner Huntington III. This production is directed by Chari Arespacochaga while Beth Martin was the musical director.
My friends and I watched the June 25, 2010, 8:00pm performance (also known as the opening night) of Legally Blonde the Musical Manila. We were seated at the first row that gave us a great view of the stage while Billy Crawford was seated a few seats from us.
Here’s my review of the June 25, 2010, 8:00pm performance of Legally Blonde the Musical Manila.
I would admit that I doubted Nikki Gil’s capabilities as a theater actress and a singer when I first heard that she’ll be playing Elle Woods at the local production of Legally Blonde the Musical. But, I was proven wrong. Actually, the preview performance of Legally Blonde at ASAP XV’s failed to showcase her true prowess as a singer and a theater actress. Her performance as Elle Woods didn’t disappoint.
Geneva Cruz shined in this musical as the fitness instructor Brooke Wyndham. I’m so amazed with the Whipped Into Shape number because Geneva’s voice didn’t even crackle even though she was jumping rope!
Props to Nyoy Volante and Guji Lorenzana who played Emmett Forrest and Warner Huntington III, respectively for giving justice to their roles. Snaps also to Emerita Alcid, Yannah Laurel, and Myrene Santos who played the important roles of the Delta Nu Girls and Elle’s Greek Chorus; however, it seems that they lacked caffeine in their system during the performance. Delta Nu Girls are highly caffeinated.
I so love Jinky Llamanzares’ performance as Paulette Bonafante! She was really great! Cris Viollonco as Vivienne Kensington was okay though she lacked the mataray look that the role demands. I also love Enid (played by Alys Andrea Serdenia) and the courtroom stenographer (played by Geraldine Agir) who both stood out even though their exposure were minimal.
I love the way that the choreography of this production didn’t exactly copied the choreography of the Broadway version. The choreography was original although there were a bit of likeness to the Broadway version. The choreography’s actually good. However, I could really see that the dance movements were less complicated and were toned down especially during the Omigod You Guys and What You Want numbers.
PRODUCTION DESIGN (Sets, Props, Etc)
The production design of Legally Blonde the Musical Manila didn’t disappoint. Just don’t expect the sets and props to be like the production design of the Broadway version. The sets were actually pretty good for a local production and didn’t look cheap. And, please don’t expect to see live dogs (to play Bruiser and Rufus) during the show. The sets and props were just right and were able to set the right mood-slash-atmosphere required for the scenes. However, their wigs didn’t look so good. Nikki Gil with the wig on looked more like Goldilocks rather than Elle Woods.
We were seated at the first row so we could really hear the orchestra crystal clear. They were really great! However, just like in any local stage production, the sound system was a bit annoying. There were times when you can’t hear the actor/actress singing because his/her lapel was off. Plus, audio levels were not flat, meaning, some actors sound so loud while the others were totally inaudible. Atlantis Productions should really do something about this!
The audio reminders before the show and before Act Two resumes were cute—Elle reminds the audience to turn off their cellphones and even warns the audience that she’ll run after anyone who would post a video of the performance on YouTube. Funny!
One more thing, the conductor should stop using that flashing LED wand as her baton. It’s annoying, especially if you’re in the front row.
Legally Blonde the Musical is a great and fun musical to watch! You definitely should watch out for the punch lines! You could really see that the production exerted a lot of effort to pull a show like this—from the actors’ performance up to the minute details like the set and props. Although there were a few scenes that didn’t meet my expectations, the show is really enjoyable to watch and I assure you that your money, effort and time wouldn’t be wasted.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SHOW
- Whipped into Shape
- Legally Blonde
- Legally Blonde Remix
- Court Room Scene / Omigod You Guys Reprise
- Find My Way / Finale
Of course, my friends and I gave Nikki Gil a standing ovation. Oha! I’m definitely watching this again (closing night, maybe)!
Legally Blonde the Musical runs at the Meralco Theater in Ortigas Ave, Pasig City from June 25 to July 18, 2010. Call Atlantis Productions, Inc. at 8927078 or Ticketworld at 891-9999 for tickets.