Next week in the Town Hall, Galway Musical Society proudly presents smash hit show, Legally Blonde The Musical. The story is based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film of the same name which starred Reese Witherspoon. This is a fresh and effervescent evening of musical fun in which we meet Elle Woods, the college sweetheart and homecoming queen who doesn't take no for an answer. So when Elle’s boyfriend, Warner, dumps her for someone ‘serious’, she puts away the credit cards, hits the textbooks, and heads for Harvard Law School. Along the way, she proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style. This high-energy pop musical's fun and catchy score features music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and a hysterical book by Heather Hach.
GMS’s production of Legally Blonde stars Hannah Wright as Elle who is making her first appearance with the company. While it may be Hannah’s GMS debut she has strong family ties to the Society, as she tells me over a morning chat. “My parents, John and Louise Wright actually met doing a GMS show and my grand-dad, Len Wright, used to do the sets. So I’ve known all about them and I’ve being backstage during shows before but I’ve never actually worked with them myself until now.”
Hannah has previously done musicals like Miss Saigon with Tuam Youth Theatre and Little Shop of Horrors with the Maree Musical Society so she is well prepared for taking her place amid the GMS cast. She tells me about the character of Elle; “Elle initially comes across as a very ditzy character, she’s very into her fashion and her hair and her friends and her boyfriend. That side of her is what we first see but she is also quite independent and wants to follow her dream and win back her ex-boyfriend. Through the course of the musical she discovers she is more than that and that she wants to have a good career in law. She turns out to be a lot smarter than people give her credit for her. She is strong-willed and a pretty amazing character to play. I like to see her as a real person, I think a lot of women could aspire to be like her.”
I ask whether the musical follows the storyline of the movie closely. “A lot of the songs are closely based on scenes in the movie,” Hannah replies. “Like there is one bit in the movie, which is almost its climax, where Elle says ‘I feel so much better’ and then there’s a song I Feel so Much Better in the show.”
The musical also features a song titled ‘Ireland’. “Elle’s friend Paulette sings that song which is kind of funny as we’re actually performing in Ireland,” Hannah notes. “Paulette has this obsession with Ireland and her dream is to find an Irish sailor called Brendan! Roisin Egenton Lawless, who plays Paulette, is phenomenal; it’s a really funny part and she brings a lot to the whole show. Interestingly, a lot of the cast are in college so they can really relate to the characters in the show who are sorority girls.”
Also featured in the cast are Richard Brown (Emmett ), Michael Cooney (Professor Callahan ), Patrick Connelly (Warner ), Kate O’Mahony (Vivienne ), Kori Kilduff (Brooke ), Ailise Higgins (Serena ), Nicola Kerrigan(Pilar ), Síofra Ní Chonluain (Margot ) and Hannah Mc Creanor (Enid ).
The A.I.M.S award winning production team consists of Brian and Sean Power who direct this energetic and colourful production. Shane Farrell, musical director who will also conduct a fabulous 10-piece orchestra. Choreographer Claire Rigney who has been putting the cast through their paces with exciting and energetic dances and Chorus Mistress Heather Shine who has been working tirelessly with cast to ensure they are pitch perfect.
“I’ve loved working on the show, everyone has been so nice,” Hannah says in conclusion. “The Powers have been amazing and all the production team and our choreographer Clare has been so wonderful, she comes down from Dublin to work with us and Shane Farrell our musical director comes in from Loughrea. It’s been great!”
Tickets for Legally Blonde the Musical are €16/€20. Performances are April 12th -16th, 8pm Nightly with a matinee 3pm the 16th of April. For tickets and information call 091-569777, visit www.tht.ie, or visit the box office in person at Town Hall Theatre