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BWW Review: GREASE at Allenberry Playhouse


The classic musical slided right in to Allenberry Playhouse.

BWW Review: GREASE at Allenberry Playhouse What can you say about a show that's been around for fifty years and shows no signs of slowing down? You know GREASE. Whether from the original show, the film, or the revised stage version that adds the big movie songs, it's in your head and you might just know and love all the words. Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey originally tried it out in their hometown of Chicago, and since then there's been no looking back.

We don't always get fresh takes on the crowd at Rydell High and their collection of different types of Fifties songs, so it's a treat when a director like Travis Pierce gives a little well-thought twist to the characters that doesn't subvert the show. A perfect example is Rizzo, here played by Olivia Ramsey and not as one more tomboy. She's completely fleshed out here, and her not getting along with Sandy (Ellen Grace Diehl) suddenly fits. It's more than a battle of bad girl versus good girl here. Equally fleshed out is Rizzo's love interest, greaser Kenickie (Joseph Bramble), who's here more than just a guy who wants a fast car.

Dear Officer Krupke, to borrow a different reference, the T-birds and the Pink Ladies aren't bad, they're just misunderstood, and under Pierce's direction there are genuine hearts of gold shining through.

Well, maybe except for Danny (Scott Sealover, taking over the stage), who can't figure out how to win Sandy back from their summer romance without losing street cred.

Small parts shine here - Miranda Newbury as Patty Simcox, Joseph M Kemprowski as T-bird LaTieri, and even the unlisted cameo appearance for Teen Angel, singing to Frenchy about life beyond beauty school. Keystone Theatrics regulars will appreciate this "Beauty School Dropout."

Look out for other gems as well - the school dance hand jive, Rizzo's solid and moving "There Are Worse Things I Could Do," and, of course, "Greased Lightning."

At the Playhouse in Boiling Springs through August 1, and selling out fast. Visit Keystone Theatrics on line or on Facebook for tickets. But don't wait - this show will be rolling out like greased lightning.

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