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Friday, July 3, 2015


(Kayla Liebenberg)

Energetic, funny and youthful presentation from Northcliff High. (Review by Janet Whelan)

In the words of director and producer, Nick Jordan: “Northcliff High has been touring its annual musical production to the Playhouse since 1999 when the musical Chicago was presented by the school and a tradition has been established with the return each year for the last 16 years, of what has now become an eagerly awaited theatrical event on the Durban social calendar.

This year it is the energetic, funny and youthful Legally Blonde - The Musical with a cast of 28, a crew of 14, a band of 12 musicians and the various members of staff that make up this happy touring group. The show is based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM movie starring Reese Witherspoon and involves a young blonde lady who is jilted by her boyfriend as she is too much of a Marilyn (Monroe) and not enough of a Jackie (Kennedy) and he has high aspirations of studying law and going into politics. She follows him to law school, in true stalker fashion but, once there, proves herself to be a better lawyer and also finds true love in another.”

Outstanding scenes in Act I were played to the songs Blood in the Water, sung by Connor Foley as Prof. Callahan and students, Ireland beautifully rendered by Erin Fynes-Clinton (Paulette) and Chip on my Shoulder sung by John Anderson (Emmett Forrest) and Kayla Liebenberg who is only in Grade 9 (Elle). Gay or European in Act II was performed by the Company and garnered much applause.

Other scenes deserving of mention were the prison routine with Whipped into Shape and the Irish dance scene; while lesser roles of individual performers that stood out were by given by Andrea Padayachee (Enid Hoopes, the Lesbian student), Luca Monzeglio (Kyle, the messenger) and Jenna Steed (Vivienne Kensington, the new girlfriend).

Some of the voices were a little too soft, while others tended to become shrill with the high notes and the cast generally seemed to find it difficult to maintain the American accent. Having said that, this was a school production and, considering that the learners had to attend rehearsals and will be away from home for the duration of the run while at the same time keeping up with their studies (in some cases with Matric looming), they deserve to be congratulated.

Legally Blonde - The Musical runs from July 1 to 5 at 19h30 in the Playhouse Drama. Booking is at Computicket and ticket sales are already brisk and gaining momentum. Last year’s production of Grease was a complete sell-out so early booking is advisable – Janet Whelan