Pull out your hair gel and put on your Poodle Skirt...GREASE is the WORD!

By: Jun. 10, 2024
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Grease is a musical with music, lyrics, and a book by Jim Jacobs and Waren Casey Named after the 1950s United States working class youth subculturals known as greasers and set in 1959 at the fictional Rydell High School in Northwest Chiago. 

Since it was first performed on February 5, 1971, at Kingston Mines nightclub in Chicago, Grease has been successful on both stage and screen, but the content has been diluted and its teenage characters have become although two Italian-American characters are left identifiable ethnic. The rest of the cast are  more generic. The first Broadway production opened on June 7, 1972; when it closed in 1980, Grease's 3,388-performance run was the longest yet in Broadway's history.

The musical follows ten working-class teenagers as they navigate a world  full of agitation and disaffection, difficulties of peer pressure personal values, and love.  If there’s a theme here, it’s the desperation of these tough kids from the wrong side of Chicago’s tracks to appear invulnerable. 

 Native Texan Adrianna Hicks returns to Casa Manna as Rizzo also originated the role of Catherine of Aragon in the smash-hit musical SIX on Broadway and her additional Broadway credits include The Color Purple and Aladdin, the latter of which marked her Broadway debut.This Rizzo has bite, presence and ultimately the leading role model for a trendsetting high school ‘tough’ girl. Hicks brings a ‘star quality’ to the role particularly with her vocals.

 There’s little initial attraction in the central love story as Danny (Jeff Sullivan) and Sandy (Emily J. Pace) barely have anything to do with each other. However, they have a secret romance brewing which blossoms, no, booms its way into the story.

  Sandy delivers a show-stopping, crowd pleasing "Hopelessly Devoted to You", and Danny nails that jumpy swagger that Travolta did so well, like an overexcited puppy pretending to be a big dog. There's all the familiar hits "You're the One That I Want",  "Greased Lightning", " Born To Hand Jive" , We Go Together" and more. The big, hilarious surprise of the night is BJ Cleveland's Miss Lynch whose over the top ‘detention threatening’ performance delights the crowd.

Scenic Designer Mike Sabourin does an impressive job on the sets, especially with the rolling out of the 1940’s Red Ford convertible. Costumes by Tammy Spencer are 1950’s spot on. Director/Choreographer Gerry McIntyre pulls out all the stops allowing this boisterous  bunch all they can muster up to impress each other with an exhaustive amount of hormonal energy and the sold-out crowd seemed to delight in joining in with the “Hand Jive” song.  Truly a jumpin’ fun show for the young (PG13) and young at heart.

Supporting Cast includes Eugene (Brendan Behm), Kenickie (Jack Cahill-Lemme) Johnny Casino  (Winston Daniels), Frenchy (Mia Dorsett), Jan- Mary Grace Humphries, Patty  (Mary Kim), Sonny (Andrew Melor),  Doody (Nick Moulton), Marty (Emily J. Pace), Vince Fontaine (Zach Sutton), Teen Angel (Hailey Thomas), Cha-Cha ( Shelby Tuffnell)

Photos: Nicki Behm

GREASE plays at Casa Manana through June 9th. Tickets are available at the Casa Mañana Theatre Box Office, 3101 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth


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