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Theatre fans want Legally Blonde in Oz

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Australian theatre fans want to see a professional production of the Broadway show Legally Blonde, but it is a wish that will most likely never be granted.

A poll conducted by AussieTheatre.com revealed that Australian theatre fans would rather see Legally Blonde ahead of productions such as Next To Normal, one of the most talked about musicals in years.

Legally Blonde also out-polled In The Heights, Shrek, Rock Of Ages and Spiderman.

38 per cent of respondents said they wanted to see Legally Blonde – a movie-cum-musical about a ditzy blonde who becomes a legal eagle – produced down under. Next To Normal polled 32 per cent.

But it is unlikely that producers are considering bringing a production of the musical to Australia given it’s lack lustre Broadway run.

Despite its upbeat and funny score, the show only ran for about 18 months on Broadway. It was helped by a reality television show that helped re-cast the role of Elle Woods, but the fanfare didn’t last.

International productions are being mounted, but Australia does not appear to be on the map.

“It would be considered too much of a risk – and probably too expensive for the small run it would most likely have,” one industry insider said.

Australia’s musical menu is reasonably strong at present.

Jersey Boys, Chicago, Wicked, Avenue Q and Mamma Mia are all making their way around the country, and all have been received strongly by audiences and critics.

Cats will arrive back in Australia soon, and Mary Poppins is set to be one of the biggest productions ever staged here when it lands in Melbourne next June – the month that has become synonymous with major musical openings in Melbourne.

The Sydney Theatre Company produces Spring Awakening in February, while Fame also returns to our shores next year.

Announcements are pending for speculated productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hairspray and Rock Of Ages.

Whilst Buddy recently folded, there hasn’t been a major theatrical flop in Australia for some time. Producers have been more careful in difficult economic times and their choices have generally been solid. They tend to be relying on shows that have been successful here before or productions that are seen as sure things following success in America.

It is unlikely that risky programming will find its way back on the menu any time soon.

Those wanting to see Legally Blonde may have to wait for it to hit the amatuer circuit.

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