BWW Review: GREASE Strikes Lighting at Beef & Boards
Dylan and Celeste:
"Grease" is certainly the word at Beef & Boards as the original production of the celebrated musical started its run.
The musical, originally created by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, is most well-known for the 1978 John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John movie adaptation. It has been a little over forty years since the movie came out.
Thanks to Director Eddie Curry's unique ways with telling a story, there's just enough drive in the plot to make the audience care about what happens to the characters as the Pink Ladies and T-Birds blunder their way through the awkwardness of adolescent love and passion. With as much of a following as there is for this show, it could have easily failed, but Beef & Boards delivered a stellar show.
Kaleb Lankford played cool guy Danny Zuko and Sarah Daniels played the innocent Sandy clicked instantly vocally and romantically.
Daniels' authoritative voice almost banished the ghost of Newton-John from the building in "Hopelessly Devoted to You", but Daniels was also able to pour an equal amount of warmth into the songs she shared with the other singers, such as "It's Raining on Prom Night."
Standout Josh McLemore certainly made me sit up and pay attention as Doody transformed from an amateur guitar player to a rock 'n' roll god with "Those Magic Changes." Casi Riegle was quick on the draw with her sharp wisecracks playing the tough girl, Rizzo. Nikki Miller also provided some of the show's best moments as the little goody-two-shoes, Patty, who pretty much drooled as she fawned over Zuko.
The Choreographer, Ron Morgan, certainly brought it and cleary knew is material. The vintage dance moves rocked in the larger cast numbers like "Hand Jive" and the famous "You're the One that I Want" and he even shined in the deeper, smaller ensemble tunes such as "Greased Lightning" and "Freddy, My Love." Music Director Terry Woods and his band did not miss a beat.
While no one really expects great depth from GREASE as a musical, Beef & Boards version delivered where it counted with sparkling humor, delectable harmony, (and food) with some energy to spare. GREASE plays from now until March 31st.