A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

supper theatre
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

GREASE FOR BARNYARD (article first published : 2005-10-15)

Louis Möller of The Barnyard Theatre Productions recently secured the rights to the world-acclaimed rock ‘n roll musical Grease on a trip to New York.

This will see a countrywide tour of the production, to be directed by South African theatre doyen Ian von Memerty, starting on The Barnyard Theatre circuit in Johannesburg. It will then move straight down to Durban, where it will run for ten weeks at Barnyard Gateway from May 10 to July 16.

The Rocky Horror Show was the first musical brought to local audiences by The Barnyard Theatre Productions, which saw in excess of 300 shows being performed over 18 months,” says Louis Möller. “The show, which has just ended its national tour, brought great joy to our audiences, and the professionalism and dedication shown by the cast was phenomenal. We are really chuffed to have secured the rights for Grease which we believe will have an even wider appeal to Barnyard audiences, as it is more of a family show. We expect this feel-good, evergreen musical to provide a great deal of fun for the audiences and performers alike.” commenting on securing the rights.”

Grease had its world theatrical premiere on Broadway in 1972, and has triumphed throughout the world, both in acclaimed theatres and in countless school productions. In 1979 Grease took over the record as the longest-running show in the history of Broadway (with 3,388 performances), and the hit film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John proved to be the highest-grossing movie musical ever.

Co-creators Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey were friends for seven years before they collaborated on Grease and it was over beer at a party when the idea first surfaced. On February 5, 1971, they finally tried their idea out on the public at an experimental theatre in Chicago. The title evoked the style of the late 1950s – slicked-back hair and fatty fast food.

Grease brings back the teen-age lifestyle of the 1950s. The boys wore short hair swept back into elaborate coifs called the DA or ducktail. They sported motorcycle jackets, pegged pants, turned-up shirt collars and T-shirts with cigarette packs secured in rolled up sleeves. The girls wore beehive hairdos complete with hair clips, chewed gum and wore boys’ windbreakers with their names sewn on. They pierced their ears, and wore pedal-pushers, spongy white bobby socks, cinch belts and long felt skirts.

The plot concerns Danny, a member of the Burger Palace Boys (a greaser gang at mythical Rydell High), and Sandy, a sweet innocent who has just transferred there from the cloistered confines of Immaculata High. Having met at the beach, they fall in love immediately. But, as we used to sing in 1956, they live in “two different worlds.” So when Danny finally decides not to live up to her image of him as an all-American-boy track star, she puts on tight jeans and a bouffant hairdo and joins the Pink Ladies

One year after the first production, Grease opened at the Eden Theatre, just off Broadway in 1972, but without the hoped-for success. Although the public loved it, the critics - in particular the New York Times - gave the show lukewarm reviews, and the Tony Awards committee ruled that Grease was ineligible for nomination because the Eden does not qualify as a Broadway theatre, being several blocks away from Broadway proper. However, the producers disagreed and threatened to sue the committee, which promptly backed down; Grease consequently received seven Tony nominations, moved to Broadway proper and never looked back.

In the 1971 tour across the US and Canada, a 17 year-old John Travolta played Doody. He went on to star as Danny Zuko in the smash hit film version of 1978. When Grease opened in London in 1973 it was the then unknown Richard Gere who played the cool Danny. In the original New York cast was Barry Bostwick who later went on to play Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Everywhere it opened; Grease struck a universal chord with its irresistible mix of adolescent angst, vibrant physicality and 1950s pop culture. Subsequent to the huge success of the film, new productions of Grease opened in the UK in the 1990s which incorporated all the hit songs from the movie, including Summer Nights and You’re The One I Want, with favourite numbers from the musical like Greased Lightnin’, Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee and We Go Together. The Barnyard Theatre Productions has secured the rights for both the musical and additional film material with a down-payment of R1.3 million.

Tickets for Grease at The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway will cost R150 pp (Buy One Get One Free promotions on Tuesday and Sunday shows). Further information regarding auditions or the show itself should contact The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway on 031 566 3045.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart