It’s automatic, It’s systematic, It’s hydromatic . . and it’s selling like hotcakes!

After the early closing of Legally Blonde and reducing the number of seats available at King Kong, finally we have some good news for the Australian musical scene. The Grease revival is selling unbelievably well. So well, that the producers have decided to add another show to the performance schedule each week in Brisbane!

Grease Media Launch. Photo by Matt Watson

Grease Media Launch. Photo by Matt Watson

Announced this morning, Grease has added an extra matinee at 11.00am on Sunday to the weekly performance schedule. My thoughts do go out to the cast who now have to work their way through the whole show a NINE TIMES a week, but it is reassuring to see the huge popularity behind this show.

There are many reasons why this musical is selling so well, but there is one that stands above the rest. A very famous, a very talented, and a very diverse cast.

We all know that celebrities sell tickets and this production is filled with celebrities. But not just celebrities that appeal to one segment of the theatre market, there is literally someone to bring everyone to this production.

Rob Mills (Danny Zuko) and Anthony Callea (Johnny Casino) will appeal to younger audiences especially off the back of Rob’s Legally Blonde tour and Anthony’s new album. Todd McKenney (Teen Angel) and Gretel Scarlett (Sandy Olsson) will bring in experienced theatre audiences who have seen them in other shows and Bert Newton (Vince Fontaine) will keep those grandparents rolling through the doors with their grandchildren.

Now to the marketing . . .

Originally, Sunday at 11.00am seemed like a rather strange time to add an extra show as convention tends to be an earlier Sunday evening addition at around 6.00pm. So why break with tradition?

But look at the last demographic that the musical is targeting through the addition of Bert Newton; grandparents and, as a result, grandchildren.

Grandparents and grandchildren have very little choice when it comes to selecting which show to go to within the performance schedule. Generally it is limited to the Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees, and if they want to take their grandchildren along it is restricted to only Saturday and Sunday. So by adding another show to the mix at the family-friendly time of 11.00am on a Sunday, taking kids to see the show now becomes a more viable option due to the earlier finish time compared to average matinees.

Plus, it is a point of difference that is currently not offered in any other musicals and presents Grease as another option for families who previously had to go and see a live children’s show at the expense of going to the theatre.

A really interesting strategy from Grease that hasn’t been done in the professional Australian theatre circuits as long as I can remember. But just a word of warning: I would watch your back Grease, I hear that The Wiggles can be vicious when you become their major competitor!