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‘Grease’ is the word, and the word is this musical is a blast!

The title song for the musical Grease is one of the great opening numbers, and when the band strikes up and launches into the tune at the beginning of the new production that’s taken up residence at the Crown Theatre – it’s a thrilling take off for the show.

The set is largely made up of giant two bleachers, that rotate round the stage, characters coming and going, making out, chasing each other, strutting their stuff, Pink Ladies and T-Birds take to the stage.

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It feels like an explosion of sound, a mesmerizing blast of colour, an announcement that the party has started!

The song that declares that “Grease is the word” wasn’t a part of the musical created by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey when it made its debut in Chicago in 1971. It wasn’t in the show when it was a Broadway and West End hit in the years that followed.

It’s one of the additional songs added for the 1978 film adaptation, written by Bee Gee Barry Gibb and sung by Frankie Valli. In fact, many of the most loved songs in Grease were added for the film version with Olivia Newton-John’s regular collaborator John Farrar wrote Hopelessly Devoted to You and You’re the One That I Want for the film too.

Over the decades Grease has morphed and changed in many different ways, incorporating songs from both the stage musical and the film, and plot elements differ too.

With each major production the order of songs and plot points shift around – so even if you’ve seen the movie a thousand times, or caught a previous stage production, this take on Grease is a little different.

Annelise Hall is the sweet and pure Sandy, starting life at a new school after a summer romance with the sweetest boy.

Joseph Spanti takes on the part of leather jacket wearing T-Bird Danny Zuko, who let down his bravado and bluster when he met Sandy at the beach over summer, but now he has to maintain his cool guy image.

Perth’s own Mackenzie Dunn excels as Rizzo, the girl with endless attitude and a love for the bad boys. Every time Dunn takes on a role, she nails it, and this is no exception.

For the other T-birds, Keanu Gonzales is Kenickie, Tom Davis steals scenes throughout the show as Doody, Andy Seymour is Roger and Harry Targett performs Sonny.

The Pink Ladies are populated by Briana Bishop as Marty, Cathy Hamilton as Frenchy and Caitlin Spears as Jan. All do a very fine job.

It’s a sing-a-long experience as most of the audience are very familiar with every word of Summer Lovin’, Greased Lightin‘, Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee, and all the show’s well-known tunes.

Patti Newton takes on the role of Headmistress Miss Lynch, while Jay Laga’aia is Disc Jockey Vince Fontaine. The legendary Marcia Hines is Teen Angel.

Hines delivery of Beauty School Drop Out is one of the show’s highlights. Her performance has a level of comedy and sass that elevates it to another level.

The song has been reworked and is well suited for Hines being in the role. It’s transformed from being the song I always fast-forwarded through on my VHS copy of the film in the 1980s, to being a showstopper moment.

Mackenzie Dunn also has one of the show’s great moments when she sings There Are Worse Things I Could Do – an anthem for living your life on your own terms.

The school dance number with Born to Hand Jive was another of the many highlights. Cristina D’Agostino shines brightly as Cha Cha, delivering a much more comedic version of the bad-girl dancer.

This is a brilliant reinvention of a much-loved musical – a party from start to finish. Don your black leather jacket or a pink bomber jacket and head down to the Crown Theatre.

Tickets for Grease are on sale now. The show has a limited season until 28th July.

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