My favourite movie of all time has to be Grease. I know almost all the words to every single song by heart and phrases from the movie.
So, when the Australian touring cast of Grease came to Singapore, I was excited but apprehensive as well. I was excited because I would get to see my favourite movie live on stage. I was apprehensive as I didn’t know if they were going to mess it up and, after catching the musical, I have a mixed opinion of it.
Grease Is the Word
For those who aren’t familiar, Grease the movie starred a svelte, young John Travolta as Danny Zuko and Olivia Newton-John as Sandy. They were a pair of summer lovers in high school that braved hormones, peer pressure from the greaser Thunderbirds and the Pink Ladies, and all with showstopping numbers.
The musical opened with a bang with the theme song from Grease and quickly moved into the upbeat Summer Nights. Stephen Mahy (Danny) appeared a little stiff in his acting as he tried to emulate John Travolta’s effortless swag from the movie, but his voice fared much better.
Gretel Scarlett (Sandy) had big shoes to fill and she did it well. I dare say her vocal range might have been better than Newton-John’s!
However, the storyline was a little jumbled up after that. If you’re expecting it to be exactly like the movie, you’ll be in for a rude shock.
The musical took liberties with the numbers, shifting them around to fit set changes and budget constraints. But, you will hear all the songs from the movie matched with hilarious physical comedy from the cast.
Bad Girl Shines
Lucy Maunder (Rizzo), who plays the antagonistic and brusque leader of the Pink Ladies, really caught my attention with her biting delivery of her lines and her goosebump-inducing rendition of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do”.
Rizzo in the musical is depicted a little more unfeeling and mean than the original one, which makes you feel for the target of her anger, good girl Sandy. The choreography in the musical is stellar as well, with acrobatics and fun numbers.
All in all, this production is an interesting take on Grease, and I can understand why they changed it to avoid comparisons with the actual film but, in spite of this, audiences can’t help but compare it to the iconic film. Despite their best effort, the musical still falls slightly short of the mark.
You can catch Grease, while the Australian cast is still in town, until May 18. Visit www.marinabaysands.com/ticketing for more information and tickets.
By Cheryl Chia