There was dancing, there had to be, come on – it was Grease after all, and there was singing – some high quality, serious a** kicking singing, and there was a lot of fun. A lot of it.
Jim Jacob’s and Warren Casey’s 1971 musical, based on a high school in 1950s "greasers" – the working class kids of America at the time as they were known, is an absolute charmer of a production and also a tough nut to crack. But Laila Alvares’s production did perfect justice to the play and the sheer vibrancy that made Grease- Grease and Travolta- Travolta in the film version.
Anyone who follows theatre in Bangalore knows all too well of Laila Alvares’s penchant for musicals and her ability to pull them off with tremendous style and aplomb. This one is no exception either. It leaves you with the kind of energy and buoyancy that you have been longing to see on the stage.
Grease is about high school working kids of the 1950s America. This particular story deals with a love affair, but that is hardly the plot.
Laila Alvares brings to fore the blistering color of the charming youth of the age. This one has a tremendous production value, with an extensive set and a multitude of costumes. Add to that a quite terrific live band to churn out all the numbers, a group of (like twenty odd) singers who can belt those numbers from Grease like they were there when it was being composed, and of course dancers cum actors who could really move to the beat and own it, and you have the most delectable potpourri you could’ve asked for.
In a musical fiesta like Grease sometimes even bad acting is pardoned or ignored, but there was no need for it here, for the acting was up to the mark to accompany the dancing and the music, which was the obvious star. It is not the sort of layered script that demands high performances from characters, but bad acting can really stick out like a sore thumb. All that was required was to have an optimal amount of it to keep supporting the dance and the music, and that it did quite capably.
Laila Alvares and her quite capable army pulls off yet another musical in great style. This one’s not a theatrical marvel, nor does it try to pretend to be, but its the kind of theatre that only Laila Alvares does around here in Bangalore, and perhaps for that reason alone you will want to catch it when it happens.
Grease has shows from 31st July to 3rd August 2010 at Chowdiah Memorial hall. Differential ticket pricing.