Oct 18, 2013

Grease is the Word.

It's not everyday you get invited to a media call at the Lyric theatre.  Grease is the Word (aka The Number One Party Musical) has just opened its two month season at the Lyric and it officially opened last night.

Image from pinterest

I was very tempted to dress up as my favourite character (biker chick Sandy of the heels, skin tight pants and cigarette dangling 'Tell me about it, Stud'....) but I refrained.  For one thing, it was too hot for the biker jacket yesterday.  

Image from The Daily Telegraph

How weird was the sky and the blood red moon?  Apocalypse jokes aside, I hope there is no further loss of property or  loss of life in the coming days as the bush fires struggle to be contained.

Instead, I ended up in this Halloween themed outfit.  Cotton On's McQueen inspired skull scarf and a string of Red Phoenix Emporium beads.

Top and scarf - Cotton On, jeans - J Brand, bag - LV, beads - Red Phoenix Emporium.

Couldn't resist a nod to Sandy with these black J Brands though.

I had no trouble finding the Lyric at the Star Casino, this pink and yellow vintage car was conveniently parked at the front door.

It was pretty surreal sitting in the theatre.  Camera men were setting up a couple of rows behind me and they were conferring with the stage manager about lighting, angles, sound and whether the microphones needed to be adjusted for their cameras.  It was almost like an orchestra tuning up.  Several rows in front of me sat the still photographers.

We were treated to a set of three songs from the musical - Summer Nights, Greased Lightening and the Grease Megamix.  The first two songs were repeated so that the camera crews could ensure that their recordings were up to broadcasting quality.  Watching the crews work gave me a fascinating behind the scenes look at just how much preparation goes into the brief segments that make up the news.

Grease has already had a very successful run in Brisbane.  Tickets for the Sydney are selling fast with approximately 80 000 snapped up already.  Prices begin at $64.40.  The cast includes Rob Mills as Danny, Gretel Scarlett as Sandy, Anthony Callea as Johnny Casino, Todd McKenney as Teen Angel, Bert Newton as Vince Fontaine and Cal Lehman as Miss Lynch.

In between the performances, producer John Frost interviewed cast members who were dressed in character.  Yes, that is Bert Newton rocking a bouffant and a cow print jacket.  Everyone seemed to be having so much fun being part of the production.  The costumes and infectious songs of the production ensure that the cast and crew have as much of a party with each performance as the audience.

This current production makes much of the performance history of its stars.  Todd McKenney brings a bit of Dancing With the Stars to his performance.  He couldn't resist a bit of Liberace via Behind the Candelabra either.  I wish I had a decent photo of Todd.  He was head to to glittering diamantes, his bouffant a well polished silver and his sunglasses were polished to a mirror finish.

Greased Lightening was performed with the aid of a car which needs to be charged up with each performance and has to be driven on and off the stage.  There's also an impressive firework finish to the song.  And that's on top of Millsy's energetic guitar solo....

Val Lehman marked her return to Sydney theatre from 7 years in London with her role of Miss Lynch in Grease.  I managed to completely erase my memories of Bea Smith from Prisoner as Val fussed in front of the black board in the Megamix sequence.  Apparently her cane gets quite a work out in the full performance as unsuspecting members of the audience are put on the spot.

All too soon, our time with Rydell High's class of '59 drew to a close.  Cha Cha DiGregorio, the best dancer from St Bernadette's pulsed across the stage and we were jolted back to a sweltering day in Sydney, 2013.  Well, not completely.  There were photo calls to be posed for.  The photographers huddled in front of the stage as hair and make up were touched up.  Tissues were offered to the cast to blot themselves and stage managers positioned the cast for their photos.

Sandy and Danny then posed for the camera together before shimmying off into their post high school life together.

SSG would like to thank ACMN entertainME for their kind invitation to the Grease is the Word media call.


  1. You lucky thing! It's one of my favourite movies X

  2. How fun. Grease is the kind of musical I can watch annually and not tire of. I remember dressing up in my Sandyesque black lycra jazz outfit as a 10 year old, and thinking I was so cool! Those were the days.


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