Sunday, June 27, 2010

Legally Blonde (Atlantis Productions)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Even though the musical numbers are very lively, there seems to be something wrong. Overall, the musical is not that enjoyable. Maybe a louder than usual orchestra and too much pink do not always go together. Or perhaps it just depends where you are seated. But there were some technical problems with the audio, specifically with some of the actors' lapels. There are also instances where the orchestra drowns the dialogues.

The set is creatively done. Almost all that can be seen onstage are shaped like books, which reinforces the law school atmosphere. The moving sets are also shaped as such, the pages of which can be opened to reveal a new backdrop for another scene.

It is a bit hard to get the fashion related jokes. Although there are some easy ones such as: I see you came as last year's sample sale! There are some that are hard to understand for people who do not have a single clue about fashion, like why wearing white shoes after Labor Day is a crime, for example. Maybe it just has a specific target audience.

Nikki Gil's performance is not that bad, she just offers a slightly different version of the titular role. Some of her gestures suggest attitude for the character most of the time, a trait which is present but scarce in Witherspoon's movie portrayal. This little difference does not have much detrimental effect on the story, although the underdog appeal that helped grip the viewer's attention in the movie seems to have been toned down in this rendition on stage. Still, a pretty good theater debut for Nikki Gil. Nice legs, by the way.

Hello Geneva's abs, should have had its separate billing. And singing that Whipped into Shape song while jumping rope, wow, some serious multitasking going on there. She and her backup dancers definitely deserved the loud applause that came after. There was a rumor earlier that Gretchen Baretto would be doing the Brooke Windham role, good thing she did not.

If you want to do a lot of comparisons between the movie and the musical, then it would be better to watch the movie first before seeing the play. However, it is not always appropriate and fair to compare the two since they are different mediums. The storytelling technique used in one might not be that effective in the other. Some lines are lifted directly from the movie (or perhaps both come from the book) and some characters are modified or missing. Little adjustments in those areas aside, the story unfolds pretty much the same way, and the main theme is preserved for everyone in the crowd.

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