You better shape up, Grease is electrifying

GREASE is back in Melbourne and it truly is “slicker, sexier and more electrifying than ever” as director Luke Joslin claims.

Her Majesty’s Theatre is the temporary home of Rydell High, decked out in embellishments from the beloved 1950s romance tale.

The GREASE soundtrack has provided high energy tunes throughout my life, so it was no surprise when I struggled to hold back my foot tapping and couldn’t help but sing along. 

The opening song, Grease is the Word, kicks off a wave of nostalgia and introduces the diverse cast John Frost’s Crossroads Live production has under its belt. 

The additional musical numbers in the stage production such as Those Magic Changes, Freddy my Love, Mooning, Shakin at the Highschool Hop, It’s Raining on Prom Night, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Party Queen, extends the storyline beyond the 1978 film.

The set has been carefully considered, making use of a revolving stage which allows for effortless transitions and adds spice to the choreography. 

The iconic bleachers feature in most scenes, rotating and moved by hand into several sets – a drive in movie theatre, prom hall, Teen Angel heaven and Rizzo’s bedroom. The list goes on!

There is a stunning array of costumes bringing back ’50s fashion. Bright pinks, blues, oranges, greens and of course the classic T-Bird and Pink Ladies jackets. 

PHOTO: Jeff Busby

Annelise Hall (Sandy) creates a character that pays homage to the late Olivia Newton-John, while still managing to make it unique and her own. 

Sandy is a strong willed and determined character in this new interpretation. It is a refreshing modern twist empowering women young and old.

Joseph Spanti performs the sweetest version of Danny Zuko, while still portraying a slick, macho, leathered up dirtbag at times. 

The chemistry between the entire cast is impeccable, particularly the relationship between Mackenzie Dunn and Keanu Gonzalez who play Kenickie and Rizzo. Creating a love story between two characters that thrives on lust. 

I felt truly star struck by the quality (and quantity!) of celebrity cameos. It seems everyone wanted a slice of GREASE.

The voice of Jay Laga’aia (Vice Fountaine) brought back all my childhood memories of Playschool in the best possible way. You would not be amiss to think he’s a shock jock day-to-day with the smooth voice that echoes across the venue.

The critically acclaimed Patti Newton has well and truly recovered from her brief illness of COVID-19 which saw her miss the first week of previews. She depicts a version of Miss Lynch the audience can’t help but love and adore. 

But the absolute highlight has to be Marcia Hines (Teen Angel), who presents a gospel version of Beauty School Dropout, adding her own flair and pulling off a truly dazzling costume. The audience can’t get enough.

Grease is more than a night out at the at the theatre. It is a transportation back to the ’50s, it is an opportunity to celebrate love and friendship and it is a way to pay tribute to the late Olivia Newton-John.

A night of dancing, singing, laughter and happiness from the comfort of a red velvet theatre chair in the beautiful Her Majesty’s Theatre. 

So bring your friends, family and even your kids – but just like the movie, you may have to cover their ears for the odd crude joke here and there.

GREASE will call Her Majesty’s Theatre home until March 10, so you better shape up!

Tickets can be found at greasemusical.com.au

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Eden Hayes
Eden Hayes
Eden Hayes is a Melbourne journalist with a passion for theatre, sports and popular culture. She loves a night out at the theatre!

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