REVIEW: Grease is the Word @ WMC

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Grease was definitely the word on Tuesday night when the hit musical opened at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

It’s been nearly 40 years since the 1978 high-school musical starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta graced our screens. Following the friendships, romances and adventures of the T birds, Pink Ladies and the remainder of Rydell High, many have tried to fill the shoes of Danny and Sandy… many have not exactly fared well.

From the bands opening medley of the shows hits, to the amazing vocals from BBCs Over the Rainbow winner Danielle Hope playing Sandy, the atmosphere at the Wales Millennium Centre was initially electric.

Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for  The Wanted’s Tom Parker playing lead Danny Zuko or Eastenders’ Louisa Lytton playing Rizzo. Both performances were a little shaky, with disappointment filling the room. In-experiences were noted, with the supporting cast outshining both of them on a number of occasions.

For me, Rizzo is the tough cookie, sarcastic, witty – with a strong vocal to follow. It was if Lytton was eaten up by her character, coming across as unsure, inexperienced and incredibly ‘soft’.

For a musical that’s so memorable, I envisioned people dancing on their seats, audience singalongs and endless cheers from the crowd. There was a lack of all three.

The highlight of the night has to be all time legend Jimmy Osmond’ stint as Teen Angel – working the crowd and showing off his many years in show business. His charisma made it.

From the vibrant set, to the number of costume changes, Grease is a pretty difficult musical to live up to. Although this production had it’s highs, it doesn’t quite break the bank yet.

Grease will run at the Wales Millennium Stadium until Saturday July 29th.

3 STARS 


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