Elle Is For London: Legally Blonde The Musical Opens in West End Jan. 13 | Playbill

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News Elle Is For London: Legally Blonde The Musical Opens in West End Jan. 13 Legally Blonde The Musical opens in its London premiere Jan. 13 after previews from Dec. 5, 2009, at the Savoy Theatre in the West End. Sheridan Smith stars as the spunky sorority sister Elle Woods, who follows her man to law school.
Sheridan Smith

Tickets are currently on sale to March 13. Elle was created in the 2001 non-musical film by Reese Witherspoon, and was played by Laura Bell Bundy in the 2007 Broadway musical.

The London company includes Duncan James as heartbreaker Warner and Alex Gaumond as Emmett, Elle's fellow student. Also in principal roles are Susan McFadden, Aoife Mulholland, Peter Davison and Jill Halfpenny.

The original Broadway creative team, led by director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell, recreates its work in London. The creatives include set designer David Rockwell, costume designer Gregg Barnes, lighting designer Kenneth Posner and Paul Miller, sound designer ACME Sound Partners and orchestrator Christopher Jahnke.

The London production is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G. Bartner, Ambassador Theatre Group, Jamie Hendry Productions and Act Productions.

The musical, which features music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and a book by Heather Hach, premiered at Broadway's Palace Theatre in April 2007, following a tryout at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre. It ran on Broadway to October 2008, and was filmed for broadcast on MTV. A national tour followed the Broadway run. *

According to press materials, Legally Blonde revolves around college sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods, who doesn't take no for an answer. So when her boyfriend dumps her for someone serious, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and heads for Harvard Law! Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.

Smith was last seen in a musical when she played Audrey in the Menier Chocolate Factory's production of Little Shop of Horrors in late 2006, subsequently transferring to the West End's Duke of York's. She made her West End debut in the National Youth Music Theatre's production of Bugsy Malone, in which she played Tallulah, and has subsequently appeared onstage in Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse), Ancient Lights (Hampstead Theatre), The People Are Friendly (Royal Court), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), and A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Taming of the Shrew (both at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park). She is best known for her TV roles in "Two Pints of Lager and A Packet of Crisps," "Grown Ups" (that was written specially for her), "Love Soup" and "Benidorm."

James has previously appeared in the West End as Billy Flynn in Chicago. As an original member of the chart-topping band Blue, he achieved 40 number one singles worldwide. In 2007 he was a finalist in ITV's "Dancing on Ice," and is a regular radio and TV presenter, where his credits include his own show on Capital FM, "Party in the Park," "Soapstar Superstar" (ITV2), "T4 Movie Special: Spiderman II," "Record of the Year" and GMTV's "Entertainment Today." He has also recently been announced as the new host of Sky1's "Summer School Musical."

Gaumond was last seen as Galileo in the U.K. tour of We Will Rock You. His many other musical theatre credits include Desperately Seeking Susan at the Novello Theatre, the U.K. tour of the Donmar Warehouse production of Guys and Dolls, Sunday in the Park with George at Wyndham's Theatre, The Full Monty at the Prince of Wales Theatre and U.K. tour, Kiss Me Kate at Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Miss Saigon on tour world wide and Something About You at Jermyn Street Theatre.

McFadden, winner of ITV1's "Grease is the Word" reality TV contest to play the role of Sandy in Grease (which she proceeded to do when the production first opened at the Piccadilly Theatre in August 2007), plays Elle's best friend and sorority sister, Serena. McFadden has played the title roles in Cinderella at the Theatre Royal Wakefield and the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin and Annie at the Olympia Theatre Dublin. Her other Dublin Theatre credits include Jack and the Beanstalk, Singin' in the Rain and Dance of Desire. She has been seen on television in "Relative Strangers" and "Bachelors Walk", both on RTE.

Mulholland plays Brooke, who Elle defends in her first court case. She was a finalist on the BBC's "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" reality TV contest to play the role of Maria in the London Palladium revival of The Sound of Music in 2006, and which she subsequently assumed there when she covered the role at certain performances for winner Connie Fisher. She has recently been seen as Roxie Hart in Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre. She was also in Chess in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall last year, and appeared in Dance of Desire at the Black Box, Ireland.

Davison plays Callahan, Elle's Harvard lecturer. Best known for playing the fifth incarnation of the Doctor in TV's "Doctor Who" from 1981-84, Davison's other leading TV credits include playing Tristan Farnon in the long running BBC series "All Creatures Great and Small" and DC Davies in "The Last Detective." His stage credits include playing King Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot at the Palace Theatre as well as roles in Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre, An Absolute Turkey at the Globe Theatre and Arsenic and Old Lace for Chichester Festival Theatre.

Halfpenny plays beautician Paulette. In 2004 she won the BBC series "Strictly Come Dancing" with her professional partner Darren Bennett, going on to win in the Christmas Specials in 2004 and 2008, and she also performed in the 2009 Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour earlier this year. On television she is best known for her role as Kate Mitchell in "EastEnders."

Also in the company are Emma Bateman (Stenographer), Dan Burton (Padamadan, Nikos), Darren Carnall (Kiki), Chris Ellis-Stanton (Grandmaster Chad, Dewey, Kyle), Nadine Higgin (Judge, Saleswoman), Ibinabo Jack (Pilar), Caroline Keiff (Vivienne Kensington), Amy Lennox (Margot), Andy Mace (Dad, Winthrop, Reporter), Sorelle Marsh (Courtney, Mom, Whitney), Suzie McAdam (Enid), Matthew McKenna (Aaron), Sean Mulligan (Pforzheimer), Roxanne Palmer (Kate, Chutney), Sergio Priftis (Carlos), Tamara Wall (District Attorney) and Ed White (Lowell), joined by Jane McMurtrie, Sherrie Pennington, Lucy Miller, Fabian Aloise and Francis Haugen as swings.

Jerry Mitchell, who directs and choreographs, began his career as associate choreographer to Michael Bennett on Scandal and Jerome Robbins on Jerome Robbins' Broadway. Since that time his many Broadway choreography credits include the revivals of The Rocky Horror Show, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Gypsy and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Every year he conceives, directs and choreographs Broadway Bares, a comedy burlesque performed annually for the charity Broadway Cares. As well as numerous nominations, he won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his work on La Cage aux Folles and worked with Ann Miller on a production of Follies. His choreography can currently be seen in London in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre. His film credits include "In and Out," "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and "Scent of a Woman."

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0870 164 8787, or visit www.legallyblondethemusical.co.uk

Duncan James and Sheridan Smith
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