Grease is an icon, from the film that shot Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta into stardom, to the musical revived all around the world to NBC’s live production of Grease starring Aaron Tveit and Julianne Hough. From its catchy tunes, gang rivalry and a story about star crossed lovers this musical is one that has survived the ages.
It tells the story of Danny and Sandy, who meet and fall in love during the summer break, but their love cannot last with Sandy moving away with her family. It’s not until they return to school that they discover that not only are they from different worlds, but there is a lot trying to keep them apart.
Wendy Samantha Productions is bringing this high-energy show to life. From the humble beginnings of 2 drama classes to singing, dancing, acting, speech and musical theatre classes plus 2 full scales musicals a year, it has become a talent powerhouse.
Noticing a variety of ages coming through their door, they decided to hold a junior and senior production to showcase and cater for all the different ages, abilities and maturities. This meant that could not only showcase the strong talent in Grease, but perform it in its truest form.
Founder and Director Wendy Samantha is so proud of her cast and cannot wait for the public to see their talent on display.
“I can’t wait for the shows to start so that everyone can see these talented performers on stage and then they can get that applause they deserve.” She said.
She has enjoyed the rehearsal process and helping her cast create their own depictions of each of the memorable characters.
“To bring such iconic and loved characters to life I study mannerisms and look at motivations, personality, behaviour and how they got to this point. I have sat the leads down and we’ve discussed what they are doing in each scene and why, but also what may have happened in-between what only the audience sees. I feel it’s really important to have a well-rounded understanding of a character in order to do them justice on stage….
“So we’ve come up with ideas on how Danny and Sandy met at the beach, and how they both came to be there. We thought about Rizzo’s relationship with her parents, and how Kenickie may have younger siblings. We’ve talked about how the boys react to the girls in front of the other T Birds, and then in contrast how they are in a one to one situation and then what effect this has on a pink lady.” She said.
Laura Wilcox, who is playing the role of Sandy enjoyed the challenge of bringing such a well-known character to life.
“Half of the challenge is striking a balance between portraying the characters in a way that’s familiar to the audience, but still making your interpretation of the character fresh and unique.” She said.
Not only have the cast worked on their own individual interpretations of the characters but the chemistry and connection between each other on stage.
“The chemistry within and between our T-Birds and Pink Ladies in particular is really special.” Said Wilcox.
James Worboyes, who is taking on the role of Danny, agrees.
“The show doesn’t stop with Danny and Sandy or even Kenickie and Rizzo, it really delves into the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies in a non-verbal but very deep and meaningful way.
Audience members will be treated to a high energy and fun show, with moments of laughter, tears and every emotion in between.
“Grease is a guaranteed good time…a timeless show with a big heart, and all of the hearts of the cast and crew poured into it.” Said Wilcox.
“The energy is infectious and will see the audience members jumping up in the aisles dancing along with the cast.” Worboyes said.
For Wendy Samantha, it’s not only the wonderful cast and their infectious energy but also the songs that have helped cement it as a musical theatre classic.
“They are songs that you play at a party, and when you’re hopelessly devoted sitting alone in your bedroom. The characters are relatable, we can all understand them, and the story is timeless.” She said.
Grease will be performed at the Gasworks Theatre
Thursday 30th August 7pm
Friday 31st August 7pm
Saturday 1st September 12:30pm & 7pm
Sunday 2nd September 12:30pm
21 Graham Street, Albert Park
Purchase tickets here: http://www.gasworks.org.au/event/grease/