Home Musical score Grease review – room-filling energy, nostalgia and top-notch tunes | Theater

Grease review – room-filling energy, nostalgia and top-notch tunes | Theater

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IIf you don’t like the idea of ​​reaching an entire audience by imitating John Travolta’s nasal “Naahhh-iiights” at the end of the Grease Megamix (or if you don’t know what the Grease Megamix is), this comedy music probably isn’t for you.

Grease is an exercise in nostalgia, whether it’s the original 1971 musical harking back to the 1950s, or today’s audiences reveling in memories of Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Sandy’s transformation may be Grease’s most iconic moment, but change isn’t really what this show is about – its world of unreconstructed sexism, countless pelvic thrusts, and a heroine who only gains popularity. that when she puts on tight leather pants is not reinvented for the 21st century.

Nonetheless, Nikolai Foster’s production is highly entertaining and exudes a room-filling energy in its big dance numbers by choreographer Arlene Phillips, with tight formations of sharp, rhythmic ’50s patterns. film as a manifesto, full of rebellion and disaffection, and this version is inspired by the screenplay and score by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey from 1971. Some of these songs are forgettable, but Danny’s How Big I’m Gonna Be offers a glimmer of self-awareness after all her cool poses. Mooning, a sweet falling in love between two minor characters, showcases Noah Harrison’s soaring falsetto.

Swagger Jumpy … Dan Partridge and Jocasta Almgill. Photography: Manuel Harlan

The star cast comes in the shape and smooth pop voice of Peter Andre, who plays DJ Vince Fontaine minus the sleaze. Jocasta Almgill’s Rizzo has bite, presence and ultimately depth – she’s the real female lead – but there’s little draw in the central love story as Danny and Sandy have next to nothing to tell. see with each other. Individually, Olivia Moore as Sandy delivers a hopelessly devoted show to you, and Dan Partridge’s Danny nails that nervous swagger that Travolta has done so well, like an overexcited puppy pretending to be a big dog.

If there’s a theme here, it’s the desperation of those tough kids on the wrong side of the Chicago tracks to appear invulnerable. Wearing a protective attitude; safety in the clique. For all that this show is cartoon-based, there’s still some truth to it. But most of all, you come for the top-notch karaoke tunes.