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BWW Review: GREASE at Harelquin

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20 March-2nd April

BWW Review: GREASE at Harelquin

Reviewed by Sharon Hewlett

In a world currently afflicted by a pandemic which has closed many theatres down, it was a pleasure to sit amongst a sold out show on a Wednesday night at Harlequin Musical Theatre.

From the familiar opening refrain of 'Grease is the Word' the audience were enthralled by the young cast as they danced and sang through the 1950's.

Tara Doherty-Eagles played a naive and innocent Sandy and her pure soprano voice carried this theme in her solo numbers, particularly in the final notes of 'Hopelessly Devoted to You'.

Adam Pavis as Danny found success with the audience in his comedic lines and his talent for singing falsetto came to the forefront during 'Sandy'.

BWW Review: GREASE at Harelquin Whilst the first acts microphone issues meant at times it was difficult to follow the action as there were multiple overlapping lines and action on the stage, the second act started solidly with the hand-jive, ably backed by the dulcet tones of Johnny Casino (Lance Ainofo). Jeremy Downing as Vince Fontaine was the perfect unsettling mix of cheese and sleaze. Nicolette Nes as Patty Simcox played the over-eager brown noser to a tee, complete with the iconic 'knicker scene' at the high school dance. Newcomer Jannah Joy Hibbard as Frenchy, was a standout performer- her characterisation was consistent, comedic and believable from opening to closing- I hope this is not the last we see of her on stage.

Minimal set pieces meant the show flowed quickly between scenes. A set highlight was the novel way the other vehicles were represented at the drive-in, complete with the roller skating waitress. The reveal of Grease lightning was literally breathtaking from the audience- not going to say much more to spoil the surprise!BWW Review: GREASE at Harelquin

In any show that is so well known there is a risk of erring from the classic in vocal or in choreography. In 'Born to Hand Jive' in particular, choreographer Molly Griffiths mixed original choreography with a respectful nod to the original movie choreography. Cha Cha (played by Luna Oliveira) is a highlight in this scene, playing the crass dancer from St. Bernadette's with flexibility and aplomb. Watching her and Pavis move together was a delight.

In a show that relies on all characters to embody the 50's both the T-Birds and The Pink Ladies worked together well to show friendship, relationship and the coming-of-age stories that director George Everts aspired to show. Everts has assembled a talented cast who left the audience humming well after the curtains closed.

If you are thinking of booking tickets you will need to do so fast as they are selling out faster than greased lightning!

Grease
Harlequin Musical Theatre
20 March- 2 April 2021

Bookings:https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2021/mar/grease


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