Grease has been in my life since my S2 music teacher decided to let us watch the film than actually teach us anything. I saw the live version online which starred Venessa Hudgens and Sam Clark back in 2016 but I have never seen it live until I went to Berlin. Now here comes the challenging part, they sang in English but spoke in German. Which provided me with a challenge.
The classics from Grease like Summer nights and Grease lightening were very well performed and got the crowd going. But as a native English speaker it was hard to keep up with some of the slang that was said and I often found myself reasoning out a line and getting left behind as they talked. When they started singing again it gave me a chance to have a little break.
The girl who played Sandy was very good, she was able to switch between the languages and hit the right notes for the song. Her physical comedy was also very good. However, the guy who played Danny I felt didn’t manage to switch to English as easily as the Sandy actor did. This meant that some of the songs lost a bit of their power and empathy as he mispronounced some phrases and didn’t quite give it the right tone. But I might be being a little picky.
The show has extra songs and scenes added in which I wasn’t expecting which gave a bit more of a back story to some of the Pink Ladies. Though there was a locker room song which left me laughing hysterically which ended up with some of actors stark naked. You didn’t need to know both languages to get that humour.
The dance number during the prom was the highlight of the show for me as they go beyond the movements of the show. However, the hand jive was still very much the present dance feature in the show and even saw some of the audience joining in with the actors. The atmosphere in the German theatre was a lot more laid back compared to that of the British theatre. However, the building was a lot more modern and less constricted which I preferred.
Overall, I loved the show but there were some bits where I just didn’t have a clue what was being said and I couldn’t ask or look it up. But that feels like a little more effort than its worth. I should really just keep improving my german. I feel it was a good step with some familiarity with the show. However, the next challenge will be going to see Anastasia in Stuttgart which is entirely in German. I have seen enough of the show to know the songs but I may slip in an earpiece to listen to lyrics if I am really struggling. But this is on the list for the year.