JOHN LAWSON Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Jim Jacobs’s show seems to have been on tour forever – in between smash hit runs in the West End and Broadway, and, of course, the unforgettable movie version which remains the biggest-grossing musical film of all time.
As a theatre manager, it's comforting to know there are still shows you can rely on. Rely on to provide a great evening's entertainment. Rely on to bring out the punters. And rely on to bring the house down.
And Grease was definitely the word on all three fronts as another high-octane young company had an all-but sell-out house in the palms of their hands from the first bars of the unforgettable theme song.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Jim Jacobs's show about Rydell High School, its T-Bird boys and Pink Lady girls seems to have been on tour forever – in between smash hit runs in the West End and Broadway, which delivered a hatful of awards, and, of course, the unforgettable movie version which remains the biggest-grossing musical film of all time.
The 2001 tour has Craig Urbani as Danny – his third rock 'n' roll era lead after playing Buddy Holly in Buddy and The Fonz in happy Days – alongside comparitive newcomer Haley Flaherty as Sandy, and the pair of them were perfect together.
But this show is all about first-division partnerships – Matthew Cutts and Nina French as Kenickie and Rizzo and Richard Taylor Woods and Tanya Caridia as Sonny and Frenchy.
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Set, lighting and sound all add to the party atmosphere and David Gilmore's full-pelt direction is fuelled by Arlene Phillips's great choreography and Stephen Owens's pulsating band.
And watch out for the great loofah and shower-head dance and the heavenly Teen Angel scene led by Paul Burnham
If you haven't already got tickets you may already be too late – just 150 seats were left for the entire run before last night – but it would be worth your while to try!