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By Josie Braaten
The Courier 

FPST Reviewed: Grease

 

August 9, 2017



Bright and colorful, Grease bounced along like a freshly inflated vintage beach ball. Fun to watch, but for the most part, nothing to bring one to the edge of their seat. However, it was during the large group numbers that the wind picked up and that classic beach ball seemed to bounce a little higher.

The opening “Grease is the Word” was sultry, fun, and set the mood for a lively show with a commanding vocal performance by Hailey Stone and the band, parading across the stage in all their musical glory to take their place in the onstage bandstand. “Summer Loving” and “Magic Changes” were additional puffs of this little sprightly breeze, featuring strong leading vocal performances by Taylor Caprara (as Sandy), Jerrod Galles (as Danny), and Nathan Snow (as Doody), along with a spunky ensemble that was endlessly entertaining. The notorious “Grease Lighting” also spiced things up with Tyson Gerhardt (as Kenicki) bringing a little grit to Grease’s perky journey and well-done dance breaks by the men of the cast.

Alongside the big, gusty group numbers, “There are Worse Things I Could Do” by Rachel Pewitt (as Rizzo) and “Hopelessly Devoted to You” by Caprara were simply lovely vocal displays showcasing impressive talent. “Beauty School Dropout” by Jamie Parnell (as Teen Angel) was another of these displays, featuring a wonderfully snarky Parnell in a very fetching bleach blond wig.

Mary Rooney’s set design was clever and “punny” by placing the Grease’s bandstand for the live band in a massive jukebox, highlighting a staple element of the 1950s, and finally allowing this group of performers the visual recognition they deserve. The lighting designs, by Spencer Perry, strongly reinforced the over-arching moods of the scenes and songs well especially in “Mooning Over You,” “We Go Together,” and the sprightly “Hand Jive.”

Though the musical numbers were wonderfully entertaining reminders of why Grease is so absurdly popular, the scenes between these bubbly pieces seemed to lack the edge and vigor necessary for a show built on teenage angst and rampant hormones. Without the desperate passion that Grease’s plotline demands, it was just hard to get invested in the trials and tribulations of a certain crew of teenagers, smoking and cruising their way through the 1950s.

 

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