Real-life Sandy stars in Grease

Real-life Sandy stars in Grease
Sandy Scarlett says that her character is close to her heart
Gretel Scarlett (kneeling) as Sandy in the Broadway musical, Grease.

SINGAPORE - Australian musical theatre performer Gretel Scarlett says she is a real-life version of Sandy, the sheltered, good-girl character she plays in the musical Grease.

The show, which had its Broadway premiere in 1972 and inspired the 1978 hit movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, opened over the weekend at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands.

"I'm pretty much a real-life Sandy. I was the good girl growing up, I used to work very hard. I was that straight-A student, I went to dance classes, I went to singing classes," the 26-year-old tells Life! over the telephone.

"I never hung out with the bad kids at all."

Scarlett spent her childhood in Australia as the only girl in a family of five brothers, which she says taught her "how to have opinions and to be strong at what I do".

"Growing up with them was crazy, we all got along really well, but there were some fights, of course. They taught me to be strong, you couldn't be weak around them because they weren't going to put up with that," she says.

This is her first lead role in an international tour after graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) in 2008. Before this, she had smaller roles in the 2012 Asian tour of Wicked - the hit musical about the witches of Oz - and the 2009 Australian tour of Mamma Mia!, based on the songs of Swedish supergroup Abba.

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