Grease is the Word

By Adilah Ismail

At some point in their lives, almost everyone has sung along to a song in ‘Grease’. Whether it’s the tongue twisting lyrics of ‘We go together’, ‘You’re the one that I want’ or even dreaming about the “automatic, systematic, hydromatic” features of a used car in ‘Greased Lightning’ – the music in Grease has proven to be timeless.

The British School in Colombo presents ‘Grease’, one of the best loved stage musicals of Broadway. The musical, which revolves around the lives of high school teenagers, gained more popularity after it was adapted for a film, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the late 70’s.

Set in Rydell High School in the 1950’s, ‘Grease’ tells the story of a group of boys called the Burger Palace Boys (known as the T-Birds in the movie) and their female equivalent, the Pink Ladies (recognizable by their pink jackets). Over the summer vacation, Danny Zuko, the leader of the Burger Palace Boys has fallen in love with Sandy Dumbrowski (a sweet and wholesome girl), which doesn’t really sit well with his cool image. Unexpectedly, Sandy turns up at Rydell High, and as the plot unfolds, it reveals the ups and downs of Danny and Sandy’s relationship, while focusing on the relationships and friendships of the other members of the two groups.

“I think Grease deals with a lot of issues for young people of any generation,” emphasized Director of the musical and Principal of the British School in Colombo, Andrew Fowler-Watt. “It makes no difference if they’re in Sri Lanka, the UK or whether they’re in America or Australia - young people are interested in the same things to one extent or the other,” he explained.

Despite its fun exterior, the musical tackles themes such as friendship, love, teenage rebellion, conflict and adolescence. Adding that drama is one of the best team games of all as it brings people of assorted ages together, musical theatre specialist Andrew Fowler-Watt, voiced that it has been an engaging experience overall.

“The most refreshing thing about this, is that its teenagers talking about teen issues and with some really great music and dancing as well” voices Producer, Tracy Holsinger, adding that the cast have discovered their own talents in the process of piecing the musical together.

With an exuberant cast of 60 ranging from 12 – 18 years and coupled with catchy music and excellent choreography, the production promises to be nothing less than ‘electrifyin’ and is a musical for the entire family.

‘Grease’ is directed by Andrew Fowler-Watt and produced by Tracy Holsinger. Musical Director for ‘Grease’ is Eshantha Peiris while the show is choreographed by Shannon Raymond. Set Design is by Shannon Raymond and Ranjan Aluwihare, Costume Design by Graham Hatch and Stage Manager for the production is Sirraj Abdul Hameed.

The production will be staged from 11 - 14 March 2010, at the British School Auditorium from 7.30 p.m. onwards. Tickets for ‘Grease’ can be obtained at the British School in Colombo, after March 1. Electronic Media Sponsors for the Musical are Yes Fm and MTV while the print media sponsor is the Sunday Times.

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