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NODA Review – 2017 Legally Blonde the Musical

Legally Blonde The Musical – 23rd March 2017 – Manx Operatic Society – Gaiety Theatre – I.O.M.


Director – Anthony Williams. Sarah Holland Asst. Director

Musical Director – David Holland

Choreographer – Anthony Williams

Report Author: Eddie Regan

Manx Operatic Society has, yet again, presented another first class production. This Society has entertained the Island since 1949 and goes from strength to strength. The talent on show this evening would grace any professional stage. The show opened to a fast paced, slick, well sung “Omigod You Guys” which set the tone for the whole production. Anthony Williams, Director and Sarah Holland, Assistant Director know how important it is to get the audience on board from the beginning and they certainly succeeded. This was a superb, fast moving, production, which had obviously been so well rehearsed.

Legally Blonde the Musical is based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the 2001 M.G.M. Motion Picture. The book is by Heather Hach and with Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’ Keefe and Neil Benjamin the show has certainly become a “big hit” throughout the country. It is encouraging to hear that many young people have been attracted by this modern piece, both taking part or in the audience. Such was the great overall standard, I hesitate to mention individuals but I feel I should mention Anne-Marie Craine as Elle Woods who gave a stunning performance. Her singing, acting and energy were outstanding. Lisa Dancox as Paulette Bounafonte gave a delightful interpretation as The Hairdresser. Her rendition of “Ireland“ was one of the highlights of the evening. John Snelling as Professor Callahan, and Harry Lydon as Kyle B O’ Boyle showed their natural talent with these two outstanding performances. The two well trained dogs were an instant hit with the audience and well done to the actors who handled them confidently. I particularly enjoyed Liam Kaneen as Emmett Forrest. He played his role with sensitivity and pathos. He understood the intricacies of his character and the audience sympathized and reacted to his determination to convince Elle of her true worth.  Delta Nu Sorority Sisters sang some great harmonies and were obviously enjoying playing these roles. Diction and Projection by all were first class, due no doubt, to the experienced Dialogue Coach, Chris Maybury. This is not an easy score but the orchestra under the baton of David Holland, Musical Director was certainly up to the task. Anthony William’s choreography was innovative and certainly high energy. Costumes and Lighting and Sound played an important part in ensuring the success of this production. I was a little disappointed in the final “Graduation” scene. I felt the cast would have been better side-on to the audience as opposed to facing upstage. Congratulations to all concerned with this splendid production. I have seen many shows by this company, all of a high standard and this one is no exception. All involved must be thrilled? Audience reaction was all positive and like myself, they left the theatre, knowing they had witnessed something very special. Thank you for your warm welcome and my wife and I look forward to your next production.