Slick performance a cracker

20:19, Jul 18 2013
Props manager Julia Adams fills plates with coleslaw and creamed rice for the cast to use onstage.
Theatre technician Jeff Ross (left) and technical manager Neale Smith make some quick adjustments to equipment before the curtain goes up.
Margaret Tait from the wardrobe department irons costumes backstage.
Travis Oudhoff, left, and Matt Joll get dressed backstage at Invercargill Musical Theatre's production of Grease.
Dancer Riki Young applies her makeup backstage.
Aleisha Kennard plays Jan from the Pink Ladies in Invercargill Musical Theatre's production of Grease. Here she applies her fake eyelashes before a show.
Costumes lined up backstage.
Hairdresser Linda Howard does Sarah Donnelly's hair backstage at Invercargill Musical Theatre's production of Grease. Sarah plays the part of Patti. Waiting behind is dancer Riki Young.
Sound technician Chris Herman, left, and assistant musical director Michael Buick on the sound desk.
T-Birds in Invercargill Musical Theatre's production of Grease, from left, Daniel Neas as Roger (obscured), Waaka Parkinson as Sonny, Steve Broad as Danny, Daniel Monteath as Doody, and James Stephenson as Kenickie.
The pink ladies and Patti, from left, Alice McKinlay as Marty, Aleisha Kennard as Jan, Amber Reed-Parkinson as Sandy, Sarah Donnelly as Patti, Kate McIlwrick as Frenchy, and Libby Fraser as Rizzo, for Invercargill Musical Theatre's production of Grease.
Cast members waiting to go onstage.
The cast of Invercargill Musical Theatre's production of Grease in action.
Phill Edlin working the fly floor.

I got chills, they're multiplying.

Not exactly the right context I know, but apt nonetheless.

The Invercargill Musical Theatre production of Grease last night did give me chills.

Grease is my all-time favourite musical. Ever since I was a little girl I have been singing and dancing along to Summer Nights, Greased Lightning and the rest of the well-known soundtrack.

So I was excited but also a little nervous to see what the local musical theatre aficionados would offer up from Sandy, Danny and the gang.

But I needn't have been nervous. And I should have known that.


Last year's stellar performance of The Sound of Music should have proved the skill and talent of the group's actors and singers.

I initially had some concerns over the casting - these people are portraying high school students after all, and some of them have not been in high school for, ahem, a few years. But again, I needn't have worried.

Amber Reed-Parkinson as Sandy was a knockout, and Steve Broad as Danny was filled with all the 1950s devil-without-a-care cool anyone could ask for.

Libby Fraser as rebellious Rizzo was another favourite, her angst-filled rendition of There Are Worse Things I Could Do, pure emotion.

The set is by far one of the stars - vibrant and authentic, it adds to the efforts of the performers and transports the audience to an era of bobby socks and ponytails, leather jackets and, of course, T-Birds and Pink Ladies.

It is a show not to be missed.

The Southland Times