Grease opened on stage at the ICC Monday evening to a near capacity crowd with the 1958 Rydell High School yearbook reminding us that the story represents a high school of 60 years past. Photos of the period heart throbs include Ricky Nelson, Sal Mineo, Rock Hudson, Pat Boone, Doris Day, and Sandra Dee. The sets established the place and time perfectly, including the high school building and slumber party props.
The choreography was a major strength of the play. Observers could experience the excitement and enthusiasm for the music and the emotions that each song represented, and the hand jive scene was so invigorating that viewers wanted to be on the stage participating.
In every scene where the Ensemble played a major role, each member was performing as an individual while contributing within the group, having a great time as if at a real party.
There were too many exceptional performances to mention each individually, but Sandy, Carnie Reimers, and Danny, Jobod Silk, were very professional throughout the play and highly believable in their roles.
Ms. Lynch was played most effectively by MBCA 7th grader Cassandra Donato. Another of the youngest cast members was Germaine Muller, an 8th grade Assumption student who dances like a pro. All three of the Williams’ offspring, students at Coop, were wonderful: Olivia as the vamp, Betty Rizzo; Hezekiah as the unsquelchable doofus, Eugene; and Xavier as a high level performer in the Ensemble. Slumber party Pink Ladies — pink cigarettes, really?
Jack Niedenthal was an absolute hoot as the weird radio DJ, Vince Fontaine.
If a word could describe this rendition of Grease, it would be FUN! The cast had fun; the audience had fun.
The second performance of Grease Tuesday was equally excellent. Three buses from Laura contributed to the packed house, and the audience was as attentive and entertained as the previous evening. For people who attended both Monday and Tuesday, at first it might be a bit disconcerting to see different people in the same roles and costumes as the previous evening, but one acclimates quickly. Two ladies assured me that they would be in the audience for all six performances: not a bad idea!
Principle players in one cast join the Ensemble on alternate nights ensuring high quality song and dance. Everything went well with one exception: a minor car crash when the first automobile was delivered to the stage, but no damage. The music was excellent, and “Greased Lightning” was phenomenal.
ICC is the place to be every evening through Saturday March 10.
Read more about this in the March 9, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.