Maria Haukaas Storeng, who represented Norway in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, will have her opening performance in the musical Grease tonight. The production is said to be the biggest and most exciting theatre production created for a Norwegian audience. She has previously appeared in stage musicals like Annie, The wizard of Oz, Fame and Hair.
Maria will play the role of Betty Rizzo, a tough and sarcastic gang leader. Betty's boyfriend Kenickie is played by Marius Mittet, who has been in a relationship with Maria for many years. She is not the first former Eurovision Song Contest entrant who plays the role of Betty Rizzo – previously Sally Ann Triplet, who represented the United Kingdom in 1980 as part of Prima Donna and in 1982 asone halfof the duo Bardo, played the role in a British production. Olivia Newton-John, who represented the UK in 1974, became even more famous when she played the role of Sandy Dombroswki in the successful 1978 film adaption.
Maria Haukaas Storeng easily won the 2008 Melodi Grand Prix final getting almost 80,000 votes more than runner-up Torstein Sødal. With the song Hold on be strong, she finished 5th in the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade giving Norway its best placing since 2003. The song was a #1 hit in Norway and also entered the charts in Sweden and Denmark.