Shoo bee doo wop do wop, it’s got meaning
A packed Clink Theatre resounded to the much loved musical Grease at its Port Douglas premiere on Tuesday night.
They saw a show of mesmerising dance and song that displayed stage talent drawn locally and from Cairns in an assured production that was a step up from the accomplished Annie of last year.
They were literally dancing in the aisles from the outset – at least the cast was, for the signature opening tune Grease Is The Word.
It kept up much like that for the entire 95-minute journey through teenage angst in down home rock ’n roll America in 1959.
The cast were completely at home in the world of hot rods, leather jackets, sweaters, bobby sox, and ducktails and French roll coiffure.
Stephanie Collins as lead character Sandy extends the part in the second half as the narrative moves into the relationship with Danny (co-lead Myles Hollo-Russell). Her experience with the Cairns Choral Society stands her in good stead for the demanding role.
Hollo-Russell has had less stage time but still holds his own as the other half of a duo that has been loved over the decades, not least for the female film lead having been played by our own Olivia Newton-John and the male lead by John Travolta.
But those expecting a recreation of the film will be mistaken, for the theatrical production has elements more suited to the stage and unique to it.
One of the most pleasing is the extended jive talk sequence that has the full cast on stage in a choreographic rave up of great inventiveness and fun. Locals Braden Laurin (Kenicki, who sings Greased Lightning) commands his first singing role with DTAG and Mel Boon does a stunning job of playing Rizzo.
Sophie O’Gorman-Petrack stood out in yet another role where the requirement for an outgoing and exuberant personality (as sweet and conniving cheerleader Patti) is portrayed seemingly so effortlessly.
Another 21 locals complete the cast and it looks like everyone’s having a swell time. The comic relief boys bring plenty of levity and the audience is never starved for laughs.
Production started last November under the guidance of Siobhan Delgardo (director) and later on the renowned Alteouise De Vaughn as musical director.
Producer Michael Kerr said “it’s thrilling after all this work to see this fantastic show hit the stage.
“We’re booked solid for the entire run of 10 shows though limited seats are still available.”
You’re the one that I want: Sandy and Danny in Grease
Mel Boon as Rizzo