Friday, August 10, 2007

Danny Bayne

Well, I liked Danny Bayne a lot during the Grease Is The Word TV show - a TV talent contest to cast the stars of a new production of Grease - but the reviews for the stage show have been universally pretty awful.

It's not that Danny Bayne and Susan McFadden are awful as Danny and Sandy. It's just that whatever qualities made people vote for them shrivel and fade in the spotlight's harsh glare.

Bayne makes John Travolta look like Olivier, substituting a twitch of the collar and a curl of the lip for anything approaching acting.

He dances well enough, but he always appears to be copying someone else's moves - whenever he is asked to be still, or to think, he looks blank.

McFadden - sister of Westlife's Brian - has a sweet smile and a strong voice. Unfortunately she belts out every ballad as if it were karaoke night; there's no finesse or feeling.

Both have drama backgrounds and both have clearly been ferociously coached.

But nobody has been able to lend them charisma, or the ability to hold the stage. They appear what they probably are - two nice, eager people who are overwhelmed by the chance they have been given.

At some levels, of course, their limitations do not matter. No one goes to Grease for a master-class in performing, they go to have a good time.
The Telegraph

Truth is, I have always loathed Grease. Fifties Americana is simply not something I feel any nostalgia for or have any affection for. The only thing worse than rock'n'roll is rock'n'roll pastiche. And I have always found John Travolta odd-looking and charmless, and always thought the original cast ridiculously too old to be plausibly at high school.

So, the new production of Grease is awful? Why not? It's an awful musical with an awful story and hideous songs.

I still think Danny Bayne is fit though.

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