The spirit of the fifties will soon overcome Madrid's Gran Via Thoroughfare, location of the Lope de Vega Theater, where, on Feb. 23, preview performances for Grease began.
After beating all earnings and attendance records with El Hombre de la Mancha (Man of La Mancha), Luis Ramirez, its producer, offers, for the first time in Spain, the adventures of the students of the Rydell High. According to the words of Ramirez, "Grease in Spain will be completely different from any other production of the play ever seen. With more than 70 songs and a duration over 2 hours 40 minutes, we have created a completely different dramaturgy. The most prominent aspect of this production is the work that has been done to differentiate two completely different stages in the play: that of the life of the students of Rydell, and that of the dreams that they have of success."
Artistic direction is by Ramirez, with help from the choreographer Ramon Oller. Musical direction is by Alberto Quintero. The cast is made up of more than 40 unknown artists, chosen among 2500 candidates.
This production has 300 costumes and 16 different decors, created by Pigmalion Productions. According to information given by a spokesperson of Pigmalion Productions to Playbill On-Line, the play has sold over 50,000 tickets.
For a second consecutive season, it's possible to see more than just one musical in Madrid since, aside from Grease, The Bob Fosse-John Kander-Fred Ebb show Chicago is being performed in the Nuevo Apolo Theater. Grease previews from Feb. 23 to Mar. 16. The official premiere is on Mar. 17. For tickets and information, visit: http://www.grease-es.com
--By Carlos Lorenzo