Culture Street

Theatre

Review: Grease is the Word

On October 21, 2013

By Sophia Whitfield

 

So ingrained into our psyche is the film, made famous by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John some 35 years ago, that it is always hard to trump the original. But it has been a while since Grease, the stage musical, graced our theatres, making this latest production a coveted piece of musical theatre.

Grease packs a punch; it’s loud, frenetic and has a fair bit of sparkle. Terry Parson’s set design is terrific with the band on stage, but mostly hidden. The audience gets to see the band at the start of the show, a reminder that this is a production driven by the familiarity of the music.

Rob Mills plays Danny with energy, partnered with Gretel Scarlett, the ever so proper and very Australian Sandy. Todd McKenney is one of the most popular cast members with the audience, belting out Beauty School Dropout as Teen Angel, covered head to toe in sparkles. There is even a brief deviation from Grease to The Boy From Oz. It is a highlight.

Anthony Callea, Australian Idol runner-up, plays Johnny Casino entertaining Rydell High students with his rendition of Born to Hand Jive at their annual dance off.

It is an entertaining production with familiar tunes. The dance numbers are upbeat and fun. Grease Lightning is always a favourite; the high energy song and dance number is performed with gusto by Stephen Mahy as Kenicke around the T- Bird’s fabulous car. The Pink Ladies are led by a spirited Rizzo, played by Lucy Maunder.

Grease is a terrific night out with additional pre-show entertainment. It is currently playing at the Sydney Lyric.

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