Make us your home page
Instagram

It's back to 1959 with Show Palace production of 'Grease'

Grease opens April 16 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

The LightBox

Grease opens April 16 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

HUDSON — Time for girls to drag out their pedal pushers and guys to don their white T-shirts (with a pack of ciggies rolled in the sleeve) and go back to 1959 at Chicago's Rydell High School, home to the Burger Palace Boys and their Pink Ladies, and all the singing, dancing, romance, illicit sex and other things that create Grease, the 1972 record-breaking, Tony-nominated Broadway musical.

It's playing April 16 through May 22 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre. And even a week before opening night, most shows were almost sold out — even though five shows were added to the regular schedule.

Grease started out as a raunchy musical in a Chicago trolley barn, but it has morphed over the years to something more family friendly. (There's even a totally sanitized version suitable for high school productions.) The Show Palace version is middle-of-the-road, with all the beloved songs from both the stage show and the John Travolta movie, as well as the issues of teen sexual exploration and pregnancy, gang violence, and social and economic class conflict.

It held the title of longest-running show on Broadway for years and launched the careers of performers who became household names — Richard Gere and Rosie O'Donnell, for instance.

For the upcoming production, director/choreographer Jill Godfrey is bringing back several Show Palace favorites, plus some newcomers.

Molly Anne Rose (Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz) plays Sandy Dumbrowski, the beautiful, virtuous new girl in school who falls for Burger Palace Boys big shot Danny Zuko (Hunter Brown, Show Palace debut). They have had a summer romance that Sandy describes as chaste, while Danny implies to his buddies was wild and crazy (Summer Nights). It has apparently ended, until Sandy and Danny run into each other the first day of the new school year, and the spark is still there.

Sandy is eager to resume the relationship. But Danny, having bragged about things that never happened, is reluctant to do so for fear the truth will come out and he'll look foolish.

Sandy is heartbroken, but consoled by the Pink Ladies. They go to a pajama party at Marty's (Christie Rohr, Val in A Chorus Line), who sings of Freddy, My Love, her long-distance boyfriend. The guys steal hubcaps and admire the new hot rod that boisterous Kenickie (Stephen Antonelli, Caveman Ancestor in The Addams Family) has recently acquired (Greased Lightnin').

Danny joins the track team, while Sandy becomes a cheerleader. But "bad girl" Betty Rizzo (Katherine Walker Hill) teases Danny about falling for a "good girl" (Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee), and Danny ends up not asking Sandy to prom.

Trouble really starts when Kenickie shows up with the sexy ChaCha DeGregorio (Alyssa Elrod, assistant choreographer), then dumps her for Rizzo, and Danny ends up with ChaCha. Danny and ChaCha hit it off and win the dance contest (Born to Hand Jive), but then it comes out that ChaCha is the girlfriend of one of the fellows in the rival gang, the Flaming Dukes. That leads to a challenge to a rumble, as other complications follow.

But not before some big production numbers with lots of singing and dancing to You're the One That I Want, We Go Together, and the tender ballad There Are Worse Things I Could Do, as well as the drippy It's Raining on Prom Night and Beauty School Dropout.

The 16-member cast also includes Timothe Bittle as Teen Angel; Mary Anne Edwards as the spinster English teacher Miss Lynch; Jared E. Walker as prom emcee Vince Fontaine; Caleb Brening as class nerd Eugene Florczyk; Jay R. Goldberg as Roger, Danny's buddy; Jordan Wolfe as Doody, an aspiring rock star; Ben Hill as Sonny; and Collen Cherry as Jan, Alexus Nagy as Frenchy and Lindsay Nantz as Patty, the other Pink Ladies.

>>fast facts

Grease, a musical, matinees and evenings April 16 to May 22 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. Dinner and show, $49.50 plus tax and tip. Children's and group rates available. Call (727) 863-7949 or online at showpalace.net.

It's back to 1959 with Show Palace production of 'Grease' 04/13/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 4:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Despite Pride success, Grand Central business owners upset over losing parade

    Events

    The Grand Central District was packed with people Sunday, there to enjoy the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    Patrons eat lunch and cool off inside of the Community Cafe during the St. Pete Pride Street Festival along Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times

  2. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  3. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  4. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]