MY PAST PRODUCTIONS

 

GREASE

Pieter Toerien is delighted to announce that GREASE, the international hit musical, has opened at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town, before moving to Johannesburg’s Teatro Montecasino in April. The musical features an outstanding all-South African cast. The production is packed with raw energy and moves at a fast, furious and thrilling pace with an irresistible mix of adolescent angst, vibrant physicality and 1950s pop culture that resonates with audiences throughout the world.

 

Toerien has selected the perfect South African Musical Theatre stars to bring this classic to life, starting with Jonathan Roxmouth who was seen recently as Munkustrap in Cats and who will take the male lead as the smooth-talking Danny. Roxmouth first burst onto the theatre scene in the ever-popular A Handful of Keys and wowed audiences as Gaston in The Beauty and the Beast, and he has received 2009 Fleur du Cap nominations for both roles.

 

As Sandy, the beautiful Bethany Dickson has a charming stage presence that will have the audience falling in love with the female lead all over again. Dickson was one of the stars of High School Musical – Live on Stage, who also toured to China with the production. Dane Paarman as Kenickie and Genna Galloway as Rizzo keep in step with the high-octane rock ‘n’ roll vibe as they showcase their dance and musical theatre experience from CATS and Beauty and the Beast. Anton Luitingh, the Resident Director on the show, is well-known to Capetonians from his lead roles in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Beauty and the Beast. His performance as the Beast in the latter has earned him a 2009 Fleur du Cap nomination for Best Performance in a Musical, and he plays the role of Vince Fontaine in this production.

 

The remainder of the Grease cast is made up of artists with equally impressive resumes namely Darren Vercuiel as Roger, Matt Counihan as Doody, Charles Bouguenon as Sonny, David Schlachter as Eugene, Cherise Roberts as Jan, Sharon Spiegel as Frenchy, Kirsten Murphy as Marty, Bronwen Reddy as Patty, Thembeka Mnguni as Ms Lynch and Michele La Trobe as Cha Cha. The ensemble features Cat Lane, Tamryn Pelser, Zac Hendricks, Jerome Julies, Melisande October, Jaco van Rensburg, Jenna Robinson, Louisa Talbot, Darren Greeff, Emma Walsh, Malan Le Roux and Duane Alexander who is also the Dance Captain.

 

Grease was co-created by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The show had its Broadway première in 1972 and since then has played consistently all over the globe. In 1979 the show took over the record as the longest-running show in Broadway’s history and the hit film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John proved to be the highest-grossing movie musical ever. Interestingly, Travolta first appeared in Grease as Doody, the nerdy kid who idolises Danny, when he was just 17 years old, and when the show opened in London it was an unknown Richard Gere who played the cool Danny with Elaine Paige taking a turn as the female lead.

 

In January 2004 Grease embarked on another UK tour and has been back in the West End since 2005 and shows no sign of stopping. Talking of the show’s appeal and purpose, the international director David Gilmore explains that Grease doesn’t have a message but gives a flavour of being a teenager in the 50s when rock ‘n roll and putting grease on one’s hair were the most important things in life and this is the level that audiences should take it on. Grease is the ultimate party musical and has maintained its everlasting popularity, proving that teenage angst and love’s young dream remain timeless and its universal themes create an unforgettable show experience.

 

Grease runs at Artscape from the 6th March till 11 April 2010 before opening at The Teatro Montecasino in Johannesburg on 17th April 2010. Tickets cost from R100 to R350 via Computicket or the Artscape Box Office 021 421 7695. Visit www.greasethemusical.co.za for more information.