The April 24 world premiere performance of Grease -- The Arena Spectacular in Melbourne, Australia, was beset by technical difficulties.
The audience of more than 12,000 at the Melbourne Park stadium were treated to a concert version of the show and offered free tickets for the return season in June.
At 7.30 PM it was discovered the revolve and hydraulic lifts would not be workable but with only 30 minutes to curtain producers decided to proceed with a reduced presentation. Cast made light of the situation,especially apparent in the "Greased Lightning" production number where a car was not on stage as planned. The show had done two preview performances in Newcastle earlier in the week.
Star names such as Craig McLachlan (Danny), Danni Minogue (Rizzo) and Anthony Warlow (Teen Angel) helped bring in more than $19,000,000(Australian) in advance bookings before the first performance, making the show a major hit already. This is the biggest advance for a theatrical presentation in Australian theatre history. A New Zealand, Japan and Asian tour is now being planned.
-- By Peter Ford