Grease – The Musical: You’re all I need, oh yes indeed!

Published: April 8, 2016
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The flamboyance and blast of music and art that this play offers is paralleled to none other. PHOTO: MADE FOR STAGE FACEBOOK PAGE

Last Saturday, I got to know what it feels like to be truly mesmerised. Sitting there, in that comfortably familiar hall, I couldn’t help but feel awed by the sheer sight that beheld me. It was a performance of Grease – The Musical, a play being presented at the Arts Council Theatre, and I was smitten by the near-perfect artistry that was taking place on stage.

While I wouldn’t call myself a theatre aficionado, I have been an avid follower of the on-stage performances and, therefore, it was a treat watching Grease because it was a musical I experienced like never before. While the likes of Moulin Rouge and Haaf Playt did manage to entice my senses, Grease was able to take that experience to a whole new level.

And why was that? Because while the former two plays (and their kind) usually have a humble stage setting and little to no live-singing, Grease gave me entertainment in various tiers.

The multiple stage backgrounds (which were swiftly changed in seconds for each scene); the brilliant soundtracks (played by a formidable band) complemented by the spine-tingling live-songs (performed by the actors themselves); the amazing choreography and spot-on acting, everything worked together to create a wholesome and gratifying experience for the audience.

Being an adaptation of its namesake movie, Grease follows the lives of a few high school students in the 60s who are trying to make sense of their world – one which is garlanded with Elvis Presley’s hits, convertible cars and puffy dresses. This coming-of-age story is filled with some of the most iconic songs ever and they are a treat to listen to every time.

And the theatre adaptation in Karachi did immense justice to it.

Some notable performances which were applauded by everyone include Rizzo (played by Natasha Humera Ejaz), Jan (Amtul Baweja), Danny (Ahmed Ali) and Roger (Hamza Tariq Jamil). Their delivery, singing and performances were impeccable and uncannily similar to the finesse of John Travolta and Co in the original movie.

Along with this, the lighting and panache that accompanied each character, switching aptly with the mood of the story, made the performance better tenfold.

There were some downsides to the performance as well, though. The character of Vince Fontane, for example, did not appeal to me as such and I felt like it could have been performed better. The same goes for the character of Ms Lynch (which, though short, was a performance that left the audience wanting more). Some of the more upbeat, fast-paced songs (such as You’re The One That I Want) had a slower stride to it, which felt a bit off-beat, at least to those who like the original version of the song.

However, these glitches did not do much to hinder the performance or render it unsuccessful. The flamboyance and blast of music and art that this play offers is paralleled to none other. Grease – The Musical is a sure treat for anyone who is even remotely interested in the performing arts.

For me, Nida Butt – the director – has proven herself as a timeless theatre guru in Pakistan yet again and she (along with her team) deserve to be appreciated for bringing such an amazing production to this entertainment-deprived city.

The play is going through its last week of performances, so if you are a fan of the performing arts, you better get your hands on its passes soon.

All photos: Made for Stage Productions Facebook Page

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Faiq Lodhi

Faiq Lodhi

A journalism grad and news-buff, his interests include current affairs, arts, literature and social work. He tweets as @FaiqLodhi (twitter.com/FaiqLodhi)

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