Regent's Park Open Air Theatre has expressed disappointment towards a critic's "insensitive" review of their current production of Legally Blonde. The Lucy Moss-directed show began May 13 and will run through July 2.
The production's core cast includes SIX's Courtney Bowman as Elle Woods, with Michael Ahomka-Lindsay as Emmett, Lauren Drew as Brooke, Vanessa Fisher as Vivienne, Isaac Hesketh as Margot, Nadine Higgin as Paulette, Alžbeta Matyšáková as Enid, Eugene McCoy as Callahan, Grace Mouat as Pilar, Alistair Toovey as Warner, and Hannah Yun Chamberlain as Serena. It has received praise for its diverse casting on social media and in reviews. Read the reviews here.
In response to a review, the outdoor venue tweeted, "We are extremely proud of our visionary Legally Blonde and celebrate each and every member of the company. We're thrilled with the response of the production from audiences and reviewers, alike, however are disappointed by the insensitive language of one review." The venue added that they "expect everyone comments with respect and sensitivity," and that those who do not comply will be banned from the theatre.
Social media users have noted that the tweet appears to be directed towards critic Quentin Letts and his review for The Times which has been accused of making body-shaming and transphobic remarks.
The production features an ensemble that includes Gabriela Benedetti, Lucca Chadwick-Patel, Jasmin Colangelo, Allie Daniel, Joe Foster, Dominic Lamb, Esme Laudat, Liam McEvoy, Billy Nevers, Ashley Rowe, Shakira Simpson, Biancha Szynal, and Paulo Teixeira, who is also the dance captain.
The story follows Elle Woods, a sorority member who enrolls at Harvard Law after her ex-boyfriend breaks up with her, proves herself to many and stays true to her character along the way in this musical adaptation of the IGM film starring Reese Witherspoon. It includes music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and a book by Heather Hach, based on the novel by Amanda Brown. The production reunites Bowman and Moss, who recently earned Tony nominations for co-writing and co-directing the Tony-nominated pop musical SIX.
Rounding out the creative team are dramaturg Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong, musical director Katharine Woolley, costume, wig, hair, and makeup designer Jean Chan, sound designer Tony Gayle, lighting designer Phillip Gladwell, set designer Laura Hopkins, choreographer and musical stager Ellen Kane, assistant choreographers Ainsley Hall Ricketts and Alexzandra Sarmiento, musical supervisor Cat Beveridge, associate directors Priya Patel Appleby and Amber Sinclair-Case, assistant musical director Chris Poon, and dialect coach Majella Hurley. Barbara Houseman serves as voice and text as well as season associate director, while Ingrid Mackinnon serves as season associate for intimacy support. Casting is by Natalie Gallacher for Pippa Ailion Casting with casting assistant Shanaé Chisholm.
For tickets, visit OpenAirTheatre.com.