Charming yet silly, and unapologetically blanketed in shades of pink throughout, the tale of Elle Woods — blond bimbo turned capable attorney — resonated with romcom lovers everywhere when the movie came out in 2011.
Quick recap of Legally Blonde (which was in turn adapted from Amanda Brown’s novel) — the story revolves around Elle Woods, a ditzy sorority girl who follows her ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III into Harvard Law School in a misguided attempt to win him back. Despite being laughed at and kicked out of class on her first day, she persists, and ultimately proves her naysayers wrong by acing her first trial and graduating as valedictorian of her class.
And now we come to the musical, which just debuted in Singapore.
OK, you got us. We were super psyched for opening night. Over this past week, we’ve been preparing ourselves, re-watching scenes of Reese Witherspoon’s transformation from Malibu Barbie into Serious Lawyer, and you know what — it just felt right.
We got to our seats in the theater 15 minutes early. The buzz of anticipation in the air was palpable. Suddenly, a chorus of girlish voices cut through, reminding the audience to silence their phones and refrain from taking pictures. We almost fell out of our seats in excitement.
Then the curtains opened.
“Omigod You Guys”, the opening number, leapt straight into the world of Elle Woods: It was flashy, it was chipper, and everyone on stage exuded an electrifying energy. The enthusiasm was infectious — we couldn’t help but get totally invested in the story which, though slightly tweaked for the stage, still retained the spirit and zeal of the original.
Legally Blonde the movie knows it’s a fluffy chick flick, and it’s cool with that. The musical is the same way — it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s not afraid to make fun of itself. That’s what makes the experience so fun: Everyone’s in on the joke, and even though some plot points border on the ludicrous, it’s all done with such aplomb that you can’t help but get that skeptical, snarky inner gremlin inside to STFU and let you enjoy the show.
As for the cast (brought in from New York) — they were all great in their own ways. The leading actress gives us glimpses of Witherspoon’s silver screen version of Elle, with solid vocal chops and impeccable comedic timing. The character of Paulette Bonafonté is as wide-eyed and lovable as ever. In the musical, love interest Emmett Forrest gets more airtime with Elle to flesh out their blossoming relationship, and remains a sweet and endearing persona.
Even Warner, the ambitious boyfriend we’re supposed to dislike for dumping Elle so unceremoniously, has a suave cheeseball, ‘90s boy band vibe that’s too entertaining to hate on.
Other highlights of the show, besides the conventional (but amusing) romcom makeover bit, were the comical Greek chorus of Delta Nu sisters that follow Elle around as her “conscience”; a fab rendition of the famous “Bend and Snap” routine; an uproarious courtroom scene involving the pool boy; and the hunky UPS courier (dude’s worthy of a BuzzFeed “Thirsty Thursday” spotlight).
Oh, and keep an eye out for the canines — Bruiser Woods and Rufus (Paulette’s dog) both made adorable, fleeting appearances on stage, much to the delight of the audience.
Ridiculously fun, wonderfully campy, and hilariously entertaining — the good times kept rolling throughout the entire two hour run time. One of the most fun experiences we’ve had in a theater from start to finish.
Legally Blonde is on from now till May 20 at Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands. $65-$195.