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Previewed 25 July 2007, opened 8 August 2007, closed 30 April 2011 at the Piccadilly Theatre in London
Grease is the Word! Grease the Musical has proved that a musical love story, bursting with denim, cheerleaders, slick hairstyles, and raging teenage hormones is timeless - and now it's back in London!
Grease the Musical is the perfect outing for all the family - this slice of 50s Americana is guaranteed to have even granny hand jiving in the aisle! As leader of the T-Birds, the rebel Danny Zuko oozes sex appeal and can have any 'chick' he desires. High School is only an excuse to flirt with the 'bombshells', get up to mayhem and smoke cigarettes. Along comes Sandy Dumbrowski - a true beauty but a real square - and the chase is on!
Although the producers of Grease the Musical cannot guarantee the appearance of any particular artist, Ray Quinn is scheduled to perform in the role of 'Danny' up to 28 November 2009, subject always to illness and holidays. Please note: Ray Quinn will be on holiday from 24 August until 29 August 2009 inclusive and on 5 September 2009. Noel Sullivan is scheduled to take over the role of 'Danny' from 30 November 2009 up to July 2010.
Everyone has his or her favourite Grease character. The Pink Ladies, led by the irresistible Rizzo, whose hobby is to eat men for breakfast - loud, sassy, feisty and plenty of sex appeal, this is one girl who likes living dangerously. Lovable Frenchy, who dreams of going to beauty school. Vince Fontaine, a smooth operator who leaves his female fans in near hysteria. Miss Lynch, the prudish Principal trying to keep a tight reign on all these hormones and failing miserably. This stage version of the musical Grease features all the unforgettable songs from the hit film including 'You're The One I Want', 'Sandy', 'Grease Is The Word', 'Hopelessly Devoted' and many more!
"Almost 30 years since the film was released, Grease is still the word. Maybe it is not also the way, the truth and the light, but it is certainly a deity of a kind, at least as far as its hundreds of thousands of fans are concerned... The production has kept not only its youthful good looks, but also its exuberance and curious sense of innocence. The fully-paid up members of the Grease cult will love this time capsule of a show, with its painstaking recreation of the look and feel of the 1950s, but I fancy a great many non-believers will also come out smiling because it is all so deliriously and hilariously camp... The clever, snobby, elitist riposte to Grease is to pronounce it no more than downmarket mush for the masses. Well, maybe, but it is also technically brilliant, the songs are irresistibly hummable." The Sunday Telegraph (August 2007)
"As with Joseph, the production is a rehash rather than a shiny new showcase - David Gilmore's remorseless staging from 1993. Resistance is futile: every scene is shoved to the stage's front, and played fast, loud and amped to the max... This revival of Grease is clean, quick and comes with extra sauce." The Sunday Times (August 2007)
"Having trouble with your brain? Thinking too much? Then go get your grey matter wiped out by Grease, which is now shaking masonry and blasting audiences at thePiccadilly Theatre following its garish tenure on Saturday-night television... Susan McFadden, as Sandy the high-school new girl in the stage version of the Seventies film... is more decibel-busting Shirley Bassey than squeaky-clean Olivia Newton-John. Yet when it comes to Hopelessly Devoted To You, she reveals a voice sweeter than tooth-melting candy... But, however luminous Danny Bayne seemed on TV, he is only so-so and not all that charming on stage. There's no lovable vulnerability beneath Danny's macho bragging. Instead heseems to have one eye on the audience and the other on Sandy's brassiere. But if truth be told, you need no more talent to sing either of these parts than you do to tackle the National Anthem. What matters is being fit enough for the dancing, and on this score Bayne and McFadden do keep up with the company in Arlene Phillips's tumultuous choreography. Otherwise, David Gilmore's production is like staged karaoke: one set piece after another." The Mail on Sunday (August 2007)
This major production of Grease in London originally featured a 'Danny Zuko' and 'Sandy Dumbrowski' that was choosen by the public through the television production Grease Is The Word which was broadcast on ITV during Spring 2007 - Danny Bayne was choosen to play 'Danny and Susan McFadden was choosen to play 'Sandy'. Susan left the production at the end of her contract on 14 June 2008. Danny Bayne will continue in his role and is contracted until 15 November 2008, subject to illness and holidays. His holiday dates are to be confirmed.
The co-writer of Grease, Jim Jacobs explains how he came to have the idea for the show: "It was in Chicago, Illinois, circa March/April 1970. At a cast party for some long forgotten show - just for a laugh - I pulled out some of my old 45 records from the 1950s. These songs sounded extremely dated compared to the very hip, psychedelic funk of 1970 but it was a change of pace amongst the repetitious favourite dance tunes of the day. It was after singing along to several of these old, scratchy 45s by the likes of Little Richard, Dion and the Belmonts, and The Flamingos, that I first suggested to Warren Casey what a funny idea I thought it would be to see a Broadway musical that utilised this type of score i.e the basic acapella/ faisetto/ doo-wops/ hic-cupping/ R&B music of the late 50s instead of the traditional, "legit" show tune type melodies of the Great White Way. Warren raised the rather obvious question: "Yeah, but what would the show be about?" A few beers later - with daylight rapidly approaching - I hit upon the idea that it should be about the kids I went to high school with, mainly the "greasers" and their girlfriends, back in the golden days of rock'n'roll. Harking back to a lifestyle that seemed centred on hairstyles, (oily, gooey, coiffs) the food (cheap, fatty, hamburgers and soggy fries) and cool custom cars (more gunk and sludge) or any and all things "greasy" - I suggested we call it Grease."
Together Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey wrote the first version of Grease as a play with music and, on 5 February 1971, it opened at a damp, drafty, former trolley barn called The Kingston Mines Theatre in Chicago featuring a non-professional cast of 18 actors who played the first of four scheduled performances to full houses of 120 seats. Due to its popularity, the show extended... and extended. Producers saw the show and suggested that it should be reworked to become more of a musical. Thus Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey reworked the script and the show opened off-Broadway the following yeat before transferring to The Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway on 7 June 1972. The show run for just under eight years, transferring to The Royale Thatre and then The Majestic Theatre before closing on 13 April 1980 after 3,388 performances.
The original London West End production of Grease opened at The New London Theatre in June 1973 with a cst that included the (then unknown) Richard Gere in the role of 'Danny'. The show was revived in London in 1979 with a cast that included Su Pollard and Tracy Ullman.
The hit film version of Grease, starring John Travolta as 'Danny' and Olivia Newton-John as 'Sandy', opened in 1978 with a number of new songs. Then, 15 years later, a new version of the stage musical Grease opened at London's Dominion Theatre which, for the first time, included the new songs from the movie. This production run for six years, transferring to the Cambridge Theatre during it's run.
Grease in London at the Piccadilly Theatre previewed from 25 July 2007, opened on 8 August 2007 and closed on 30 April 2011.
Grease - 1993 to 2003
Previewed 5 July 1993, Opened 15 July 1993, Closed 19 October 1996 at the Dominion Theatre in London
Transferred 24 October 1996, Closed 4 September 1999 at the Cambridge Theatre in London
Returned 22 October 2001, Closed 3 November 2001 at the London Hammersmith Apollo Theatre in London
Returned 2 October 2002, Closed 6 September 2003 at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London
Grease the Musical was originally staged in London at The New London Theatre in the 1970's. The show was then made into a movie that was released in 1978. The movie version was quite different to the original stage version and included a number of new songs. This 'new' stage version of Grease includes, for the first time, the 'songs from the film' including the hit songs 'Grease Is The Word', 'You're The One That I Want' and 'Hopelessly Devoted To You'.
The original 1993 production starred Craig McLachlan as 'Danny' and Debbie Gibson as 'Sandy'.
David Gilmore, the show's director says: "There's a huge audience of youngsters who know nothing about any theatre. That vast audience who go to discos, who go to Wembley for a rock concert, don't want to see plays. They're not interested. But they will go to see something where boys and girls come on stage wearing jeans and leather jackets, rocking and rolling. Perhaps I should say that this show is not a revival but a complete rethink and reworking. For various reasons. One is that since the original production the film has redefined what was there. The original show was written for a 150-seat community theatre in Chicago for a small cast. It went off-Broadway and then on Broadway. It survived as a small show, full of bad language; the characters were unattractive, to say the least. They'd come out and spit at the audience. Then came the film. Songs were added, which are now some of the best selling pop songs ever written, and the material was made acceptable to a wide general audience. With whom it obviously found favour. Here we are now, 20 years after, presenting it in one of the largest theatres in London, if not the largest, on a huge stage playing a hybrid version, if you like, of the text and the film and in a space for which the original material was not intended to work... We've had to bear in mind all along the danger that this enlarging might overblow the material. We're not pastiching the Fifties but in this large space it's Fifties that are more Fifties than you could ever remember. A production has to play the space it's in for everybody in that space, at the front or the back."