Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Review: Grease still the word for hordes of hopelessly-devoted fans

Grease started a five-night run in the Grand Opera House last night. Would the audience mimic Sandy's affections for her summer love Danny, and become Hopelessly Devoted to the Ulster Operatic Company's staging of a long-beloved show?

Thankfully the UOC didn't disappoint a raucous opening night crowd, and the constituents of a faithful slathering of Grease – Matthew Blaney's snake-hipped Danny, a demure Sandy and gutsy, brittle Rizzo – were present and correct.

Claire Howell sang beautifully as Sandy, dutifully vamping it up with the help of red stilettos and shiny leggings in the final act. Her henchwomen the Pink Ladies were terrific especially Annika Graham as Rizzo and Rachael Stewart as the pink-wigged Frenchy.

There was fantastic energy in the ensemble numbers like Born To Hand-Jive and We Go Together – and the hard-working chorus deserves tons of credit.

At times the stage looks a little bare – but some imaginative flourishes, like the cardboard car facades for Stranded at the Drive In, go some way towards making up for it.

Even though there's some naughty content and innuendo, Grease is sufficiently innocent and fun to delight anyone from six to 80. It's been doing so for at least 40 years.

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Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Aries:

You will have to defer to others, which makes you anxious. There's never any problem when you're in control. You know how to act quickly and decisively. When others are at the helm, progress grinds to a halt. People deliberate endlessly over simple matters. Instead of putting pressure on the person in charge, make a strategic retreat. If you act like you don't care about the outcome of a situation, they won't be paralysed with uncertainty. You have a tendency to make people nervous.More