I grew up watching Grease many times over and am even one of the (seemingly) rare fans of Grease 2. I mean come on, 24-year-old Michelle Pfeiffer singing and dancing! Anyways… Fans of the movie will find many a familiar song in the Lyric Arts stage production, and I quickly and easily fell in love with the entire cast.
There’s no question that Grease is a bit raunchy and risque. We’re dealing with a group of hormonal teenagers, after all, so prepare to see a lot of making out and there’s a chance you’ll feel inclined to yell, “Hand check!” Lyric Arts indicates the show is for ages 14 and up, and they provide a handy guide for what parents should know.
The energy of this young, talented cast will draw you in, though, and you’ll find yourself humming along with the catchy doo wop and rock & roll songs. Megan Fischer plays a beautiful Sandy and pairs well with Jordan Oxborough as Danny who has the perfect boyish charm. To me, the movie is about these two characters, but Lyric Arts made this an excellent ensemble piece where everyone gets the chance to shine.
Jill Iverson as the outwardly tough but inwardly vulnerable Rizzo could not have been more well cast, and in “There Are Worse Things I Could Do,” she’ll take you on an emotional ride with her voice alone. Michael Tober plays her on-again-off-again boyfriend Kenickie as one of the most likeable tough guys I’ve come across. Marty is pretty boy crazy and ditzy, but Karissa Lade is just so cute, she’ll have you wrapped around your finger in no time.
Then there’s Lucas Beach who has big shoes to fill as the Teen Angel and Johnny Casino. Frankie Avalon played the Teen Angel in the movie which is hard to top, but Beach made the role his own and was an absolute star singing “Beauty School Dropout.”
When it comes down to it, Rydell High could be any high school. Kids are starting to figure out relationships and sex, struggling with fitting in, trying to decide what they want to be when they grow up, and so much more. Director Chris Karki has played this show just right by not making this a buttoned-up production and was a good reminder to me that Lyric Arts isn’t afraid to push the boundaries.
Grease initially was running through Aug 2, but they just extended it through Aug 9 so purchase your tickets online fast!