By Brandon Simpson of Rockwood Summit High School
What happens when summer love is confronted with popularity and teenage rebellion? answers this ever-lingering question with the popular musical, Grease.
Grease opened on Broadway in 1972 and closed in 1980, running for over 3,300 performances. This high-energy show, at the time, was the longest running Broadway show. The well known story of the Thunderbirds and Pink Ladies has been incorporated into a famous feature film in 1978 that has become the cult classic that it is today. A story of a summer fling between the macho man, Danny, and the new girl, Sandy, is challenged when the new school year begins.
Sandy (Gabby Mancuso) is portrayed as this shy, naive girl that is utterly in love with the head Thunderbird, Danny (Tony Rodriguez). Gabby's vocals shined during "Hopelessly Devoted to You" when Sandy realizes that Danny is ignoring her to be cool. Throughout the show, Gabby stays true to her character as the innocent girl.
Yet at the end, Gabby successfully transforms the character into a rebellious girl during the famous number "We Go Together." As others broke character, Danny (Tony Rodriguez) kept his character defined and showed development throughout the show. During "Alone at the Drive-In Movie," Tony's comedic timing was precise and enhanced the rather somber song. Keeping the energy high, both Gabby and Tony sustained the juvenile chemistry between teenagers in high school. While the show continued, other characters heightened the show.
As the fun-loving member of the Pink Ladies, Frenchy (Paige Woodley) shined with the development of her character. Paige's transformation from the beginning to "Beauty School Dropout" exemplified her acting abilities with this character, even though others did not fully develop their characters. The ensemble as a whole created the show.
During such numbers as "Born to the Hand Jive" and "We Go Together," the ensemble's energy and vocals shined. Even when some actors were out of sync with the choreography, others feverishly danced with high energy. The facial expressions during certain parts of the show created an enjoyable atmosphere during dull moments where there was a lackluster of energy.
The technical aspect of the show aided to creating the lively musical. The orchestra masterfully played the high-energy score of this show with ease. Even though mics did go out, the sound crew quickly picked up the actors with choir mics. As sets were being moved, there was a collection of loud noises. Yet the set crew's fast scene changes easily covered the flaw.
There were certain costume pieces that were not of time period, yet the costumes provided like the poodle skirts created the visible era of the 1950s. The technical aspect had certain weaknesses, yet that did not hinder the ability to put on an entertaining show.
Marquette's production of Grease created an "electrifyin!" evening that truly answered the question of love and popularity.
This review was submitted by The Cappies, a program that trains high school theater and journalism students as critics. The students then attend shows at other schools, write reviews and publish those reviews in local news outlets. At the end of the year, student critics vote for awards that are presented at a formal Cappies Gala.