Smith, James and Gaumond to Star in London's Legally Blonde

News   Smith, James and Gaumond to Star in London's Legally Blonde
Legally Blonde The Musical will make its West End bow Dec. 5 at the Savoy Theatre prior to an official opening Jan. 12, 2010. The production is initially booking to May 23.

Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods
Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods

Sheridan Smith will play college sweetheart Elle Woods (the role created on film by Reese Witherspoon and onstage by Laura Bell Bundy), with Duncan James as heartbreaker Warner and Alex Gaumond as Emmett, Elle's love interest.

The original Broadway creative team, led by director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell and with set designs by David Rockwell, costume designs by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and Paul Miller, sound design by ACME Sound Partners and orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke, will reprise their duties in the West End. The London production is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G. Bartner, Ambassador Theatre Group and Jamie Hendry 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 is currently on a U.S. national tour, with international dates in Japan and Canada soon to be announced.

According to press materials, the show 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 Facotry'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 eight series of "Two Pints of Lager and A Packet of Crisps," two series of "Grown Ups" (that was written specially for her), two series of "Love Soup" and four series of "Benidrom." She has also played Emma in "The Royle Family" and a guest lead in "Gavin and Stacey." She has also played Lucie Miller, the Doctor's Assistant, in the radio version of "Dr. Who". 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 most recently appeared as himself in Channel 4's Comedy Showcase "Plus One" and made a special appearance in" The Bill" in January, playing the role of Dan Colman. He has also recently been announced as the new host of Sky1's "Summer School Musical."

Gaumond is currently appearing as Galileo in the No. 1 UK tour of We Will Rock You. His many other musical theatre credits include Desperately Seeking Susan at the Novello Theatre, the No. 1 UK 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 UK tour, Kiss Me, Kate at Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Miss Saigon on tour worldwide and Something About You at Jermyn Street Theatre.

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."

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