Behind The Scenes: Grease In Manila

Here's an exclusive sneak peek at one of the world's most popular and beloved musicals.
by Angel Salazar   |  Nov 2, 2013
PHOTOS 9 Works Theatrical, Angel Salazar
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Way before Troy Bolton, Gabriella Montez, Sharpay Evans, and the rest of East High Wildcats came into view, the theater world raved over Grease, the original high school musical set in the fictional Rydell High.

Nearly twenty years after the last time it was performed in Manila, 9 Works Theatrical offers a new and updated version of Grease, the phenomenal party musical set in the 1950s. Grease is about everything teenagers can relate to and more—finding love, growing up and fitting in—and it promises to take every viewer on a rockin' ride to the 1950s with huge doses of laughter, love, great music and even lots of a-wop-bam-boom!

Leading the cast of Grease are teenage lovebirds Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbrowski played by Gian Magdangal, who is no stranger to the stage, and Frencheska Farr, singer-actress who is a newbie in the world of theater plays. Grease introduces us to the senior students of Rydell High with the raucous members of T-Bird Gang led by Danny and their sassy female equivalents, the Pink Ladies. The story kicks off when, at the start of the school year, we discover Danny and Sandy's summer fling and the awkwardness of the situation because of Danny's popularity and naïve, school newbie, Sandy's good girl image.

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Here's a little trivia: the title came about because the musical evoked the style of an era of slicked-back hair and fatty fast food, hence, Grease!

Being an avid fan of theater plays particularly musicals, it has always been my wish to see how these productions operate and prepare behind the red curtains. Last week, that wish finally came true when I got to watch the rehearsals of Grease! Before I stepped into the room, I had particular scenes in my head that I really want to see because they had always been my favorite but when the actors did a run-through of some of the numbers... everything just seemed to be equally amazing and favorite-worthy!

By the way, the actors sang and danced through the scenes, I could hardly believe that I was watching a rehearsal. They all performed so passionately and professionally it made me believe that it was the real thing! The only thing that reminded me that I was indeed watching a rehearsal and not the actual performance is the occasional pause called by the director (not even the absence of set, props, and costumes held my imagination back). It took all my will power to stop myself from cheering for the cast but deep down I was clapping like a lunatic. My jaw was on the floor the entire time, mind you.


While watching the performers sing to the hip music and dance to the rigorous choreography of Grease, I could picture the guys sporting those leather jackets and jeans with their hair slicked back with pomade or grease and the girls working their glamorous hair and those girly poodle skirts. It is fascinating to go back to the pop culture of 1950s when bonfires, pajama parties, prom nights and drive-in movies were the center of universe, don't you think?As much as I want to tell you more, tell you more, I'll just let the photos speak for my behind-the-scenes experience.

Party and bop with the Rydell gang at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza, Makati City from November 9 to December 1, 2013. For tickets and inquiries, call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or visit

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Angel Salazar Correspondent
A certified Candy girl doesn't just collect Candy magazines, she reads and savors every word of every article in it. Most importantly, she allows Candy to reach out to her, be a part of her life, and eventually be her best-est friend.
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