All good things must come to an end, and that includes incredible musicals such as 9 Works Theatrical's Grease. It is hard to see this production end for I consider it as 9 Works Theatrical's greatest, instantly replacing The Wedding Singer as my all time favorite.
So why like Grease? First of all, why not. Grease is a fun show. If you think the movie is great, I assure you that the original live version is 10 times better. In fact, you will hate the movie after you see this one. Material-wise, Grease is a story about youth rebellion set on a High School called Rydel High. The movie has the same idea but threads away from the original vision. Grease is reach with stories to tell and every characters have their own moments to share. This is my main gripe because the movie version is heavily butchered and transformed into a cheap West Side story Knock off that centers only on the Love story of Sandy and Danny. The rewrites also damaged some of the important character development. In the movie, the rivalry between Sandy and Rizzo is not highlighted. I believe there is also between Danny and Kenickie. Like what I mentioned earlier, supporting cast are not given the chance to shine. Thanks Hollywood for ruining a great material.
Another thing you will notice first on the opening is the set and lights. Before the opening starts, the cast performs on a silhouette then bam, the whole stage lights up unveiling a magnificent set design. Just like what I expect. Another masterpiece from the set design genius, Mio Infante. The lights itself also catches my attention. I never thought RCBC has the equipment for this Lighting Design. Well it turns out 9 Works Theatrical bought/rent their own equipment to be added to the current setup in Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium. Talking about dedication. I commend 9 Works for spending more for the lights and of course getting the talented John Batalla for the Lighting Design Execution. Definitely the best among all of his works that I saw.
And of course the actors. Hmmm let's see. In general, everybody did an incredible job for Grease. I believe I don't really have any reservations for the performers. I watched the show last week and I strongly believe that they nailed it perfectly just like how I envision it. But of course there are some performance that stands out from the rest.
There are more good things to say about Grease but I guess I don't need to enumerate them all here just to prove how excellent it is. Robbie Guevara (Director) and Santi Santamaria (executive Producer) definitely did it again. They proved that they can outshine all more established Theater companies in Manila. As one of those who witnessed their growth, it is official -- the little kid is now a grown man. 9 Works Theatrical congratulations. Till the next show.