“Grease”, timeless magic: the musical of successes at the Creberg

Bergamo. The magic of “Grease” arrives in Bergamo. The Compagnia della Rancia musical will be staged on Friday 27 January at 9 pm at the Creberg theatre.

GREASEMANIA is unstoppable! In Italy, the musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, produced by Compagnia della Rancia under the direction of Saverio Marconi, in 25 years on the stages of every Region, is a phenomenon that is confirmed every evening, with more than 1,800 performances that touch the 2,000,000 spectators at the theater and, after an amazing spring and summer tour in the main Italian theaters and arenas, it is back with a new tour also in the 2022/23 season.

GREASE Il Musical is an overwhelming party that has enlivened Italian audiences since 1997, and kicked off the musical-mania by transforming itself into a real “pop” costume phenomenon, an intergenerational cult that has never been so current and is much loved even from the new generations.

In 25 years of astonishing success in Italy, GREASE Il Musical has turned into an applause machine, changing the way we live the experience of going to the theatre. Today it is a very colorful and luminous magic that is repeated every evening, a party to be shared with friends and families, without being able to remain still on the armchairs but going wild dancing: a hymn to friendship, to the unforgettable and absolute loves of adolescence, beyond than to an era – the 1950s – which today as then represent the symbol of a carefree world and an unshakeable faith in the future. At least three generations can be seen in the audience romping together, each in love with GREASE for a different reason: nostalgia for the perfect world of the 1950s, memories of the 1978 blockbuster starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and the unforgettable songs, the identification in a timeless love story, between rebellious tufts modeled with hair pomade, leather jackets and cheeky flared skirts.

Also in the 2022/23 season the protagonists of GREASE Il Musical are two young and talented performers.

Danny Zuko has the face of Simone Sassudelli; born in 1995, trained at the SDM – Scuola del Musical in Milan. He perfected his skills in the United States, where he attended some of the best theater academies and worked in important productions such as West Side Story, Victor Victoria, The Producers, Oliver.

At his side, in the role of Sandy, Francesca Ciavaglia, a graduate of Shawna Farrell’s Bernstein School of Musical Theater in Bologna, in her first leading role

GREASE, with its electrifying soundtrack from Summer Nights to You’re the One That I Want and irresistible choreographies, full of rhythm and energy, made entire generations fall in love (and dance), and was capable of becoming a pop phenomenon, ever more alive in our daily aesthetics, with characters who have become true generational icons: an engaging group, led by Danny Zuko, the leader of the T-Birds, in love with Sandy, the soap and water girl like Sandra Dee and Doris Day, who arrives at Rydell and, to win Danny back after a summer fling, she transforms herself into sexy and irresistible. Together with them, the explosive Kenickie, the rebellious and angular Rizzo, the T-Birds, the Pink Ladies, the students of the most famous high school and a very special “angel”.

The genesis of the musical

Grease was born in 1971 at the Kingston Mines Chicago club, when Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey decided to make a musical composed only for guitar; they call it “Grease” to evoke the shimmered hair and the style of the 50s.
“It was in Chicago, Illinois, around March-April 1970. At a party, almost for fun, I pulled out some of my old 45s from the 50s. These songs immediately appeared somewhat dated compared to the psychedelic funk of the 70s, but at the same time they represented a change of pace against the repetitive melody so dear in those days. And so it was that I pitched Warren Casey my bizarre idea: a Broadway musical using music from the late 1950s. Warren brought up the most obvious of questions: ‘Great, but what is the show going to be about?’
A few beers later the idea popped into my head: a trip back to the heyday of rock ‘n’ roll to a high school frequented by buffed-up young men and their girlfriends. A return to a lifestyle that seemed centered on hairstyles (oily and sticky), food (cheap, greasy, hamburgers and mushy fries) and fabulous custom cars (dirty and muddy) or anything else ‘greasy’ ; so I decided to call it ‘Grease’. Initially Warren didn’t take it seriously, claiming it could only be a dream, but then, when he was fired from his job as branch manager, he decided to sit down at his typewriter and sketched a first draft of the sleepover scene. Thus began our collaboration in creating a story that poked fun at all those Hollywood films that celebrated 1950s rock ‘n’ roll. Warren (a former high school teacher) wrote the lyrics that parodied the primal sounds of early rockers while I (a ’50s buffed ex-student) composed the tunes by mimicking the originals.
A little-known fact: Grease is probably the only major Broadway show entirely composed on guitar.”

From Broadway to Hollywood

The musical was an immediate and meteoric success: GREASE opened Off Broadway at the Eden Theater on February 14, 1972 and received seven Tony Award nominations in the same year; in June of the same year the show made a triumphant transfer to Broadway, first at the Broadhurst Theater and then at the Royale Theater where it ran continuously until January 1980. For the last 5 weeks of performances, it finally moved to the Majestic Theater, where, by its closure in April 1980, it had run 3,388 performances. A success that has become a “classic” all over the world, which has also seen the theatrical consecration of great actors such as John Travolta (performer of a minor role, before wearing the Danny Zuko jacket in the famous 1978 film – directed by Randal Kleiser and produced by Robert Stigwood, impresario of the Bee Gees – alongside Olivia Newton-John) and Richard Gere. The film soundtrack has sold more than 6 million copies since 1991 alone (when Nielsen Music began tracking album sales). Remained for weeks at the top of the charts in many countries, it still continues today to make the youngest dance and make adults feel young. The song “Hopelessly Devoted to You”, sung in the film version by Olivia Newton-John, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song in 1979. The added songs of the film “You’re the One That I Want”, written by John Farrar, and “Grease,” written by Barry Gibb and performed by Frankie Valli, became hits. A global success for the film, which grossed more than 394 million dollars worldwide.
GREASE also established itself as a hugely successful show in the West End, returning to Broadway in 1994 and 2007 and has had a multitude of runs in dozens of countries. In 2016 the production “Grease Live” on the Fox television network saw an “all-star” cast consisting of Julianne
Hough (Sandy), Aaron Tveit (Danny) and Vanessa Hudgens (Rizzo); Didi Conn, the Frenchy from the 1978 film, makes a cameo in the Burger Palace scene.

The numbers

From the historic theater debut in Italy in 1997 to today, the show has been renewed but has always maintained the ingredients that have decreed its resounding success. The real protagonists of GREASE are, in fact, rock ‘n’ roll and fast food atmospheres, pajama parties, leather jackets and flared skirts, the Elvis quiff and pomade: timeless symbols of a generation that, brought on stage with rhythm and color, they transformed the show into an incomparable phenomenon. Over 280 technicians and artists took turns under its lights, for many of whom GREASE was a real springboard.

Information

Creberg Theater Bergamo
Via Pizzo della Presolana – Bergamo

Home – Creberg Theater Bergamo

Ticket office
Via Pizzo della Presolana, 24125 – Bergamo
Phone: +39 035 34.34.34
biglietteria@crebergteatrobergamo.it
Opening hours from Wednesday to Saturday from 13.00 to 19.00.
On the day of the show, the sale opens 1 hour before the start

Online ticket office: www.ticketone.it Payment possible by credit cards from the Visa, Mastercad, Maestro, American Express, Diners and PayPal circuits

Points of sale: Fiera di Bergamo – Via Lunga Bergamo Tel. 035.3230911; MediaWorld c/o Orio Center – Tel. 035.42.11.111

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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