Beginning This Friday, GREASE is the Word!

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on July 11, 2014

Grease is the word!

This is our fourth go-round with Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbrowski. Our first was Jeff Hall partnered with Joy Ralls; then, sometime later, Keith Stoneking and Kris McCarthy. Joy and Kris had been in both previous productions, but for the second they switched roles: Rizzo for Sandy and Sandy for Rizzo.

For all three productions, Wayne Abrams of Wayne’s Body Shop managed to actually get a small but impressive auto into the theatre. It was an engineering feat, even without an actual engine, but the weight alone can still be felt in the squeaks under the carpet just before you enter the theatre from the lobby.

Our most recent Danny Zuko was Matt Nolan, from the television show “You’re The One That I Want.” He had been a contestant, the one whom everyone loved and hated to see go, so they brought him back later in the season. He didn’t win, but he was a winner here at the Roxy.

Matt had never actually performed a role outside of school, so he learned a lot on our stage, skills he took on to play Danny Zuko on tour, in addition to other roles. The TV show jump-started Matt’s career, and his appearing here sold out every performance.

John Travolta played Danny in the movie. I had known John from Club Bene in Morgan, New Jersey, where I had directed and John had played in the chorus. I remember him telling me he was going out on tour in Grease. I thought, great, but I also thought that was about as far as he would go — boy, was I wrong! Grease is forever a popular musical.

Our newest Danny, Christopher Herr, is sure to please with that voice and those looks. The same can be said for our newest Sandy, Ashley Harris, who was a director’s dream in The Great Gatsby and Les Miserables.

Returning to us again like her counterpart, Alicia Jayne Kelly not only plays the role of Marty but has also taken over the extra burden of choreographer. Alicia, who just played the beautiful but dumb blonde Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and wowed us in last year’s South Pacific, has made the Roxy her second home for a while now. I most fondly remember her exquisite performances as the broken Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, depending as we all do “on the kindness of strangers.”

Next Saturday, July 19, those of you who know all the songs by heart can show off your vocal chops at our “Grease Cookout & Singalong,” featuring a pre-show cookout under the marquee at 6:30pm, followed by our singalong performance at 8pm. Tickets are $40 (adults) and $25 (ages 13 and under).

Grease plays its pay-what-you-can preview tonight (Friday) at 8pm. Performances continue tomorrow at 8pm and on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, with 2pm matinees on Saturday, July 19, and August 2.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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