It was an explosion of light song and colour at Sydney’s Capitol theatre at the beginning of this Musical, and suddenly we were in the 1950’s in the world of Drive Ins ,Burger Joints, Fast Cars, High School love…and men behaving badly. 

 It is the end of a summer romance between Sandy Dumbrowski ( Annaliese Hall)   and Danny Zuko( Joseph Spanti  ) They are parting and  believe they will never see each other again. But they do.. at  Rydell High. She is new to the school (from Australia! ).In getting to know her new friends she tells them about Danny whom she met on her summer holiday. It soon becomes apparent  they know who Danny is. It is their classmate ,the  legendary Danny Zuko..King Rat and infamous Breaker of Hearts. We see Danny  talking to his mates about Sandy. It is the 50’s and men don’t talk about  feelings. He tells them Sandy is just another Chic.  They meet each other in front of her friends and his friends. He is almost cool and indifferent to her. Sandy is mortified.  Is this the same Danny she was in love with?

Heartbroken and in despair, Sandy singing  “Hopelessly Devoted to You ” doesn’t gives up . And in the final scenes ,standing over him in high heels, she takes command of the relationship telling Danny to stop playing games ,to shape up and be a man. Singing she tells him  “You’re the one that I want”. 

 Of course there is much to this two hour musical. There is the pain of growing up that all girls feel in coping with their peer relationships and getting on with friends. Rizzo ( Mavckenzi Dunn )captures it when she sings  “There are worse things I can do ”  (.  ) Marcia Hines in a  glamorous evening gown sings “Beauty School DropOut ” , a message to all schoolgirls ( and boys!) thinking of quitting high school and teachers. Patti Newtown (Miss Lynch) and Jay Laga’aia ( Vince Fontaine add drama and humour and fun.

 It’s a great musical and though we are in the 1950’s it has strong feminist themes. Sandy, soft and loving but determined to get her way, is the star of the show. She knows that she and Danny are destined to be with each other. Danny does too. But she is the one that is going to make it happen.

 The magnificent Capitol theatre (barely escaping demolition a few years ago) adds to the excitement of being there .Softly lit gargoyles niches and nymphs line the sides of the theatre and on stage ,walls of neon squares become cubes of colour, stage and set in dynamic interplay. The costumery is a feast of volumes forms and pastels of every tint and hue. A large smiling moon hovers intermittently. 

 The final scenes are a burst of tinsel ,blazing colour and a rip roaring stage party. At least half the audience on their feet in a standing ovation while actors sang and danced to some of the Greatest Grease Hits .

We didn’t want to leave.