Tightly choreographed, performed with plenty energy and great fun, this latest production of the musical that first brought (parody) Rock and Roll to Broadway, pretty much delivers the goods we have come to expect. The songs are performed with gusto and the stage routines are clever and inventive. The dancing finds an excellent balance between individualised and group choreography. Every scene brims with carefully crafted tableaus and movement that fills the stage and feasts the eye.
For anyone who doesn't know it, the setting is Rydell High School, fifties America and the simple plot involves the mutual attraction between cool Rocker Danny and happy innocent Sandy. In other words, a breezy teen-sex rites-of-passage tale. It's conception has been a massive commercial success. The familiarity that has inevitability built up over the years, especially after the mid-seventies film offshoot, wipes away much of the original parodic irony inbuilt into the piece. One senses that the original idea involved some implied presentation of the susceptiblity of youth imagination to corporate indoctrination through music and media. Now the actual corporate input slips in for real and sits with an easy subliminality.
But to press that point any further would be to take it too seriously. At the end of the day it is all about just going out for a good time. If that's what you're after, you won't be disappointed. The spectacle and the songs remain immense fun. Colourful, vibrant and evocative of period, this is a Grease that is worth checking out.
Till 21st October