I’ve seen Grease three times before, but only ever on tour, in Manchester years and years ago (which was awesome as they used lasers for the car transformation in ‘Greased Lightning’ and I’ve not seen anything like it since) and more recently in Birmingham and Wimbledon (because Graham Tudor was playing Doody and I loved him. In fact, if anyone knows what he’s up to these days, do let me know as I’d love to see him again). I‘m not sure how much longer Grease will be in the West End as Ghost opens at the Piccadilly Theatre later this year, so I decided I should catch it before it (potentially) leaves.
The production is actually the same as the one that I saw on tour a few years ago, but there is something just a little more magical about seeing something in the West End.
Thanks to GILT, I had a seat in the third row of the stalls, though a little off to the side. It was actually a bit close for a show like Grease with so many big ensemble numbers, but since I’ve seen the show before, it was rather nice to be able to see their facial expression, especially Danny’s . I could tell who was wearing a wig and who wasn’t, which was both annoying and kind of cool at the same time. Danny’s, for example, despite the impressive size of his quiff *wink, nudge*, was all natural baby. And you know how I feel about men with nice hair. As if he wasn’t gorgeous enough…
Anyways, as a show, I enjoyed the way the characters seemed to have a bit more personality than in the film. Weird for a stage show, I know, but Rizzo seemed to really hate Sandy and Danny was just SUCH a player… Perhaps they were more caricature-ish, but whatever, I enjoyed it. It made them all seem more three dimensional and interesting.
My favourite scene went hand in hand with one of my favourite songs – ‘Those Magic Changes’. Doody was very good, though it was a shame he didn’t actually play the guitar (especially as, from the way he moved his fingers, it looked like he probably could) and the shower dancers… I know I’ve seen the routine before, but up close it was a bit WOW. Three hot men, in TINY towels, dancing with shower heads and loofahs… Sounds silly, looks it a bit, but DAMN it’s hot! I also liked ‘You’re The One That I Want’, but I think a lot of that related to the sexy look on Danny’s face throughout .
Danny Zuko was played by Matthew Goodgame and I fancied him from the moment he came on stage, so as far as I’m concerned, that means he was well cast! He does have a rather nice voice too, though, as well as a beautifully expressive face and GORGEOUS hair! I also quite liked Michael Pickering’s Doody and the majority of the male dancers. Jon Reynolds drew my eye in almost every scene, so he gets a special shout out (even if, as a backing dancer, he should probably fade into the background a tad more). Jamie Capewell as Kenickie was good too, but I thought he looked far too old for the part, even considering he’s meant to be a bit older than the rest of them. Vince/Teen Angel was played by Jason Capewell and mostly just made me cringe (in a ‘dad dancing’ kinda way), though he was very good in the role.
As for the girls, Siubhan Harrison’s Rizzo was brilliant and her ‘There Are Worse Things I Could Do’ was spellbinding. I wasn’t actually all that keen on Carina Gillespie as Sandy at first, but she grew on me hugely in the second act, so overall, I thought she was pretty marvelous. ‘Hopelessly Devoted’ has always been one of my favourites and I thought she definitely did it justice. The rest of the Pink Ladies were also very good.
The stage door afterwards was cold, chaotic and a little bit surreal! There was a magician/balloon guy who was handing out balloon animals to the cast (they all knew who he was as apparently he did their Christmas party and has seen the show over 100 times…) and most of them came out at the same time. In the chaos, I totally forgot to wait for Rizzo and Kenickie, but I did meet the rest of the T-Birds and Pink Ladies, as well as Sandy and delicious Danny. I’m sure Matthew will be ecstatic to know he’s been added to my stalking list (somewhere below Liam, Ramin and Steel for now, perhaps around the same level as Simon Bailey…). He was so damn lovely though! I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate actors who are smiley and friendly at stage doors. I’m only ever asking for a few minutes of their time and that’s mostly so I can inform them how brilliant I think they are. I know they’re tired after the show, but really, as a fan, I’m what keeps them in work. Anyhoo, unanticipated rant over, Matthew was very chatty, asked where I’d been sitting etc. and was helpful enough to take my pic with Carina and also Michael (Carina offered but my camera was playing up so he teased her about not being able to take it and took it instead. I felt kinda bad for Carina when it worked for him first time! Especially if it was actually my camera causing the problems!). So, anyways, I definitely have a new theatre crush.
So, if you’ve never seen Grease on stage, I would highly recommend it and if you can see it with the lovely Mr. Goodgame, all the better! (Did I mention that his quiff was real?! So, so hot… )
Anyways, Priscilla next week which I’m really looking forward to, especially after the cheesy night I had this evening. Also seeing Love Never Dies, yet again, hopefully with Ramin and Dean. I think this might have to be the last time though. I’ve seen it so many times, that I just don’t think I can justify going again before 5th March, at least, not without a special offer. So unless Ramin is off this week, it will have to be goodbye . All I can do is pray that he’ll come back again soon and I’ll get to see him in something shiny and new.
So, that’s it for now,
PS. Random weird fact: I saw a member of the Love Never Dies company/crew on the tube home. I didn’t recognise her but she was wearing a black zip up top with ‘Opening Night, 9th March 2010, London’ on it, remarkably similar to the one I’ve seen Dean Chisnall wearing on several occasions. I didn’t see the back, but I’m certain if she had turned around, I would have seen a picture of an aged mask surrounded by coloured lights. I really shouldn’t have recognised from a casual glance, but I did… I’m such a theatre geek!