Grease is still the word

By Alex Gretgrix

A SHOW such as Grease can either turn out to be a hunk of junk or something that could burn up the quarter-mile.

And boy, does Moama Anglican Grammar School’s production of the ageless story will have everyone up and doing the hand jive baby.

After seeing the school’s dress rehearsal a few weeks ago it was obvious the kids were on song but at the final dress rehearsal yesterday they killed it.

The student thespians took to the Paramount stage for that all-crucial last blast before the curtain really goes up and they didn’t miss a single beat – literally.

Despite being a school version, they didn’t water down the storyline, just introduced some subtle rewrites to suit them and what they could do.

None of which impacted on the overall production, but the pre-pubescent spin on a classic love story is refreshing and engaging for the audience, adding a comic element to the show and the students were able to pull it off.

Some of the cast were making their stage debuts but if you didn’t know which ones they were you would never have spotted them – the execution and timing was flawless.

The musical’s two leads, Harper Raverty and Cameron Weeks, had big, adult shoes to fill and they didn’t disappoint.

With Harper’s sweet look and Cameron’s rockin’ attitude, it was hard for the pair to go wrong.

Charlotte Goode, cast to play Rizzo turned out to be Rizzo, she nailed the sass, the swagger and gets a A for on-stage attitude. Some people must have been shaking their heads and thinking they were seeing Stockard Channing – whoa, that’s some serious déjà vu.

There might have been plenty of star power on stage but the supporting characters didn’t exactly fade into the background, thanks to the choice of who would lead the vocals on a couple of big numbers.

Aedan Visca-Lias’ guitar playing as T-bird Doody in ‘Those Magic Changes’ or Maia Uys’ character Marty’s rendition of ‘Freddy My Love’ meant the spotlight was really shared around.

Students juggling acting, affecting American accents and singing and dancing all at the same time was something to behold and applaud.

The choreographers had obviously worked hard with the students and managed to get everyone on the same level and got the cast moving and grooving.

The costumes, wigs and make-up were well thought out and authentic and really added a little something extra to the show.

On the production side, the team really gave audiences something great to look at.

An innovative giant screen at the rear of the stage could have overwhelmed a cast of kids – but didn’t. Instead the show embraced the opportunity and cranked it up another notch.

Overall, the school’s take on a famous tale did well to live up to the hype and is a must see.

Trouble is, you’ve only got two shots left – a matinee at 1pm today and then 7pm – after that it’s all over and you will have missed something special.