Producer: Stewart Mackintosh
Mixed and mastered: Toby Alington
Reviewer: Helen Jones
Legally Blonde – The Musical was first performed in the UK in London’s West End in December 2009. The show has music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and a book by Heather Hach. The musical is developed from both the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and the subsequent MGM film.
The show tells the story of Elle Woods whoenrolsat Harvard ostensibly to study but in reality to win back her ex-boyfriend. Things don’t go to plan in her attempts to reinvigorate her relationship with Warner and she realised that she needs to gain the respect of other’s Eventually she discovers the power of having a knowledge of law and how that can be used to help others, leading to her successfully defending a woman Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial. The plot progresses and finally Elle finds love with intern Emmett and becomes valedictorian of her class.
This original cast recording starring Sheridan Smith as Elle, Duncan James as her ex-boyfriend Warner along with Alex Gaumond (Emmett Forrest), Peter Davison (Professor Callahan), Jill Halfpenny (Paulette Buonofonte) and Aoife Mulholland (Brooke Wyndham) faithfully bring all the songs from this lively musical to personal listening.
Sheridan Smith was superb on stage in the rôle and loses nothing in hearing just the songs. Both Duncan James and Alex Gaumond sing well, and Jill Halfpenny is an excellent Paulette. Aoife Mulholland makes a very good Brooke Wyndham but some of the character is lost in the translation to music only. One of the surprises with this production was Peter Davison who carries his songs extremely well never having been particularly known for his singing ability.
The tracks vary from catchy to rather esoteric but all musicals are entitled to have that variety and it is very rare that an original musical, rather than a jukebox musical, have constant strong songs, Thankfully though in Legally Blonde The Musical, the stronger numbers far outweigh the weaker making this CD thoroughly enjoyable to listen to. O’Keefe and Benjamin’s lyrics are generally witty and clever, and while there is an attempt at more ‘serious’ numbers it is the lighter ones which are the most successful.
While this CD is certainly worth the listen, it will probably mean more to people if they have seen the show. However having said that, even as a stand alone CD, this is a musical well worth having in your collection.