|Date||28th January 2015|
|Venue||Lavant Memorial Hall|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Michael Winter|
|Choreographer||Tracey Stone, Liz Vicary & Toni Holloway|
Author: John E Thomas
It goes without saying that the musical ‘Grease’ by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey with additional music by Barry Gibb is a very popular one. It’s had many successful revivals on Broadway and in the West End as well as countless tours and it even won the title of ‘the world’s best musical’ thanks to a public vote a few years ago! Grease is, for me, an ultimate guilty pleasure show (and film). Set in the late 1950s - Grease follows the exploits of a graduating class who inhabit Rydel High.
The one static set for this production was simple and worked well together with split levels helped to create some nice visual moments. This together with much use made of entries and exits down the middle of the hall.
The dancing was limited mainly by the small stage area but tackled well on by the cast led by the three choreographers, Tracey Stone, Liz Vicary and Toni Holloway who also played the characters Doody, Betty Rizzo and leading lady Sandy Dumbrowski. Toni’s ‘Sandy’ was as sweet as she should be and sung a good rendition of ‘Hopelessly Devoted’.
Many of the male characters were played by women including Danny Zuko portrayed very well by Claire Mitchell. I enjoyed her performance giving the character clumsy and slightly gawky side to perfection which gained her some worthy laughs – very likeable.
Michael Winter, Musical Director, led the music well even though he was not in view of the stage. This does confirm to me though, that whenever possible, the musicians should either be on stage or in the pit – the sound of live musicians is so much more alive and exciting compared to when they’re channelled through from back stage. Director, Peter Waters created some lively and comical scenes and had, wisely, taken inspiration from the film while still able to include flashes of his own vision too, though some of the blocking decisions were questionable and at times didn’t seem to have purpose but still, a laudable job with a strong result for this high energy and electrifyin’ show!