We sent reader Sharon M and a friend to see Legally Blonde at Stockholm’s glorious Maxim Theatre a few weeks ago. YLC’s Solveig Rundquist also took in the show and has this review of the hilarious musical about love and ambition.
Sweden has professional theater and high school theater, but not much in-between. So what if you want some good ol’ fashioned musical fun without a Broadway-esque price tag? Well, Viktor Rydberg Gymnasium, a Stockholm high school for the arts, puts on a full-scale musical at Maxim Theatre every year. This time around it was Legally Blonde (fitting for a country overpopulated with blondes, no?) and we found out just how good Swedish high school musicals can be.
During the first few phrases of the opening song it was almost painfully obvious that this was a high school production – even if it was a high school for the performing arts. But the actors quickly warmed up and took the show to new heights – away from cold Stockholm to a magical world of sparkles, silliness, and extraordinary amounts of pink.
The leading lady could have carried the entire show on her shoulders and still made it a hit.
Jennifer Jerlin fits the role perfectly, embracing Elle’s ditziness and being excessively devoted and cute – and yet, somehow it works. Her performance was exactly what you expect, and yet not cliché or shallow. And what a voice!
The show was performed in Swedish – and there simply is no equivalent Swedish phrase as effective as “Oh my god, you guys.” Nor can you really translate the title or title song, “Legally Blonde”. But it works. After all, it takes place in (Swedish-speaking) Boston!
As for the Swedish lyrics themselves, they were surprisingly good.
Legally Blonde the Musical has been performed in Sweden twice before, including the professional premier in Malmö, but this production at Viktor Rydbergs Gymnasium used their own original translation for much of the script and lyrics.
While the ensemble’s singing was at times weak, the dance numbers are energetic, quirky, varied, and professional. An awe-inspiring set complements the song and dance, with the stage convincingly and quickly transformed from bedroom to trailer park to court of law and back again.
At curtain, the conclusion was clear: Money well spent, and an evening of good, uplifting musical fun!
Legally Blonde’s limited run is over but Maxim Teater has plenty of other shows for you to check out!
Solveig is a recently-graduated American cactus who plucked up her ancient Scandinavian roots and transplanted them back to snowy Stockholm soil. When not writing for YLC she can be found cantering about town in search of culture, chai and cheer.