Today we meet hard man T-Bird, Kenicke, played by Mike Wood!
Name: Mike Wood
Character Name: Kenickie
Tell us a bit about Kenicke: The tough guy of the T-Birds, all brag and ego on top, sensitive and marshmallow inside. In a volatile love affair with both his car, Greased Lightning, and Rizzo. After spending some quality time on the back seat…..and occasionally with Rizzo, they fall out over a pregnancy scare.
Favourite song in the show & why?: Although I thoroughly love Greased Lightning, as I get to sing it, I’m a fan of Summer Nights. I have the unenviable honour of attempting to keep up the doo wop shoop-de-doop ramalama ding dong bass-line underneath the main parts, which I recorded singing at a vocal rehearsal so I could practice in the car. Weird looks are the least of it as I’m sat at traffic lights singing nothing more than a load of unintelligible consonants punctuated with “Did she put up a fight?!”.
What other shows have you done: With Simply, I’ve done Little Shop of Horrors and Streetcar Named Desire, both of which were amazing to be a part of. Outside of Simply I’ve been the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland and a regular in a local Panto, most recently as the Dame, which was hilarious. The Panto, that is. I was all puff and pastry.
Best or Worst Moment on Stage: I thoroughly enjoyed being the Dame in the panto, and it’s with the same panto I also had my worst moment. After years away from the stage my first step back in was as Wishee Washee, and I forgot my lines first scene in, rabbit in the headlights style. It wouldn’t have mattered if it wasn’t for the fact one of the children in the cast from the local school was expecting my lines to prompt her own, and I screwed it up that much it skipped hers. The poor girl was distraught, and I had a very upset parent berate me afterwards for being shit. She had a point.
Interesting Grease Fact #14: Jeff Conaway (Kenicke in the Film) had to walk slightly stooped so that John Travolta would appear taller.