It’s the one that you want
EVER-popular hit musical Grease, written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, is coming to the Gaiety Theatre in November, courtesy of In Yer Space Productions and featuring some of the island’s leading musical theatre performers.
The show is the original high school musical, featuring a playlist of songs made famous by the 1971 stage show, and then infamous by the 1978 John Travolta and Olivia Newton John film adaptation.
In Yer Space, whose recent productions at the Gaiety have included John Godber’s Bouncers, Jim Cartwright’s Two, Marie Jones’ A Night in November and the Patrick Barlow comedy The 39 Steps, bring their Grease show to the Douglas theatre for an eight-day run between November 23 and December 1.
The cast includes Kathryn Power as Sandy, Liam Kaneen as Danny, Lisa Kreisky as Rizzo, Damian Kneale as Kenickie, 2012 Young Actor of Mann winner Joe Hillard as Doody, Alex Toohey as Teen Angel, and Michael Bonner as Vince Fountaine.
They will be belting out iconic songs like You’re the One That I Want, Those Magic Changes, Grease is the Word, Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted to You, We Go Together, and Greased Lightnin’.
Producer Carl Parker said: ‘We are delighted to be bringing one of the greatest musicals to the Gaiety Theatre in November.
‘We have an exceptional cast and this will be a dynamic production of Grease, retaining all its appeal to all generations who have been brought up on the John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John film,’.
Director Colin Snell, who currently has his hands full with Calendar Girls (see page 25), will have a clear run in to November with the Grease cast, who have been working purely on the songs so far.
‘I like to get the songs started early, so when we come to routines, choreography and dialogue the rehearsals aren’t too disjointed, as musicals are always stop-start,’ said Colin.
The cast themselves have also been busy with other commitments - they sung in the Manx Cancer Help Bee Gees tribute night at the Villa Marina on Saturday, and have also been tied up with the recent Evita and Our House productions.
So how did the In Yer Space team decide on Grease for their November run?
‘I look at the people I have available,’ said Colin. ‘I know them better now, and have seen them in other shows, so I go from there and see what shows I think are suitable.
‘Though of course it needs to be a commercial show to sell tickets.
‘We tend to plan two or three years ahead actually, with an idea of who will fill the main roles, though we did do auditions for Grease.’
Despite the educational and training aspect of the In Yer Space group, Colin said Grease was never going to be a youth theatre project, and the host of established island performers available helped.
‘I’m very keen on the story,’ he said. ‘I like the songs and dances, but they can be done at karaoke nights. Our challenge is making the story stand out.
‘It is very dark in a lot of ways. In the 50s, rock’n’roll was youth getting their own voice, and it horrified people.
‘And the pregnancy storyline is important, the stigma was quite something in the 50s, and we want to look at that.’
The show will start at 7.30pm nightly, with 2pm matinees on Saturday, November 24, and Saturday, December 1.
Tickets start at £18.50, with concessions and group bookings available.
Family tickets and single parent and child tickets are available for both matinees, and Monday and Tuesday evening performances.
Tickets are available from the box office on 600555, online at www.villagaiety.com or at the Sea Terminal Welcome Centre in Douglas.
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