As Chapel off Chapel kicks off a double-bill of Grease 2: Live in Concert and dance opera Matalor, we had a chance to chat to Co-Executive Producer Robbie Carmellotti about his involvement in both shows, and what audience members can expect. Both shows were conceived by StageArt, which is run by Carmellotti and fellow Executive Producer, Katherine Armstrong, and run from October 12th to 22nd.

Matalor is a ‘conceptual hard rock dance opera’, which promises to shock audiences and take them outside their comfort zone. This world premiere, based on the story of Romeo and Juliet, brings forth the story of the three tribes: the Montagues, the Capulets and the Veronas, as well as drawing on the age-old story of Romeo and Juliet’s ill-fated love. Matalor is not a replica of Romeo and Juliet, but by using the famous love story as its basis key moments from the classic have been included throughout the show. 

Choreographed by Stephan Agisilaou and Adam Blakey, Carmellotti created and directs Matalor, which is only six months old. He said the show “starts out as a fun dance piece [but] literally has you on the edge of your seat from halfway through.” He describes the show as being intense, and one that will draw the audience in, to the point of being “comfortably uncomfortable.”

“Audiences will come expecting a dance show, and leave having experienced a story,” he said.

Performed by some of Australia’s most sought-after dancers and musicians, Matalor promises to be a provocative choreographic exploration of passion, allegiance, freedom and love. The talented cast includes Alexander Bryan as Romeo and Eley May as Juliet.

On the flip-side of this double-offering at Chapel off Chapel is Grease 2: Live in Concert, a reworking of the show that sold-out its premiere season. The script has been developed for its second season to be “much funnier, much more upbeat and all round hilarious.” The show is a concert-style tribute, which Carmellotti promises will have audiences laughing, dancing and singing along.

The story of Grease 2 is set a few years after the original, with a whole new set of T-birds and Pink Ladies ruling the school. This time around, Sandy’s English cousin Michael attempts to woo cool-kid Stephanie, who is only interested in being with a cycle lord. Thus, Michael goes through a grand transformation to become the man of her dreams.

Grease 2: Live in Concert is not a replica of the namesake film, but showcases hit songs from the movie, including “Back to School Again”, “Reproduction” and “Cool Rider,” as well as a selection of 1960's chart toppers in a jukebox style concert. The show stars Josh Piterman (West Side Story, Kismet) as Michael, and Melanie Ott (Hot Shoe Shuffle) reprising her role as Stephanie.

Carmellotti says audience members “always leave with a smile on their faces” after this hilarious sing-a-long event.

Tickets to both shows can be found at http://chapeloffchapel.com.au/ for a limited time, so head on over to the website and book your seats now.

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