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Top Pick: Czech Grease

Plastered all over train stations around the country, a new line of posters depicting an Elvis Presley look-alike smoothing back his oily hair tell the whole story: Grease is back.
The musical comedy Grease is the story of America in the 50s, the so-called era of the greasers when tough-looking young men began love affairs with their cars. Leather jackets, white T-shirts and jeans rolled at the bottom came into style with these fashion-wise punks, as did the laughable practice of using grease as a hair styling aid.
In the play, characters Danny and Sandy, after a bout of 'summer lovin', are surprised to find that they now attend the same highschool. While Sandy remains the virginal princess she was on vacation, Danny drops his sweet act in favour of a cooler, 'greasier' tough guy in front of his leering friends. Gradually, though, the two sing and dance back into each other's arms.


The Slovak-Czech version of Grease will be performed in Bratislava 60 times this year.
photo: Peter Šimončík

Plastered all over train stations around the country, a new line of posters depicting an Elvis Presley look-alike smoothing back his oily hair tell the whole story: Grease is back.

The musical comedy Grease is the story of America in the 50s, the so-called era of the greasers when tough-looking young men began love affairs with their cars. Leather jackets, white T-shirts and jeans rolled at the bottom came into style with these fashion-wise punks, as did the laughable practice of using grease as a hair styling aid.

In the play, characters Danny and Sandy, after a bout of 'summer lovin', are surprised to find that they now attend the same highschool. While Sandy remains the virginal princess she was on vacation, Danny drops his sweet act in favour of a cooler, 'greasier' tough guy in front of his leering friends. Gradually, though, the two sing and dance back into each other's arms.

While the story may be the same, this production has a different twist: all the familiar songs ("Beauty School Dropout", "Grease Lightning") are performed in Czech rather than English, by Czech and Slovak actors.

Well-known Czech singer Iveta Bartošová and lesser-known Jana Vaculíková and Linda Vargová will take turns performing Sandy, while two fresh names, Ján Slezák and Dalibor Černák, will rotate as Danny. The role of bad-girl Rizzo goes to famous Slovak actresses Zuzana Mauréry and Katarína Hasprová, who postponed issuing her new CD due to this consuming project.

For Slezák and Vargová, both 21 year-old students, Grease represents the first significant project in their young careers. The play is directed by Jindřich Šimek, director of the Czech version of the Russian musical-on-ice Mrázik. Choreography will be led by Richard Heso, the leader of the Slovak dancing group UNO.

Anticipation for the American classic is running high - the September 15 debut is already sold out. But those wishing to catch a performance won't be disapointed as 60 more performances in Bratislava will run till the end of the year.

Performances are held at Estrádna Hala at the PKO - Park Kultúry a Oddychu (Culture and Leisure park), on Nábrežie arm. Gen. L. Svobodu 3. PKO sits on the Danube River bank near the Lafranconi Bridge. Tickets range from 350 to 500 Sk and can be bought in advance at Laurinská 18, or booked by phone at 5464 1781. September performances: daily from September 16 to 24, at 15:00 or 19:00.

Zuzana Habšudová

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