Greased lightning strikes
BY GARRETT HILL ON APRIL 17, 2014
Grease, an American theatrical classic, came to Rose last week and made quite a stir with people of all ages. No one could leave the Performing Arts Center without fantasizing about going to a 50’s highschool, whether they liked the greaser style, the gossip of the Pink Ladies, or the ability of Rydell High students to spontaneously burst into choreographed dance and song at a moment’s notice.
All the students and staff involved in the production of Grease certainly did it justice. After just a few short minutes I forgot I was even sitting in the PAC because I was entranced by the enthusiasm that all the actors and actresses brought to this play. I thought the play as a whole was great, but there were a few specific things that I was not expecting that impressed me. First and foremost, Johnathon Spell shocked me on levels that I am currently struggling to convey. Although the content of the song he sang was comical, there was nothing funny about his ability to hold a note. During “Mooning”, Spell held a high vibrato note for somewhere in the ballpark of 15 to 20 seconds and two things happened: the room bursted into a powerful applause, and I a fought vigorously to hold back tears.
A second thing that impressed me was how well the Pink Ladies sold their characters. Most of the girls even perfected hand gestures to match their 50’s teenage girl voices, which were spot on. They walked with popular girls’ strut, put all their energy into the dance routines, and really made their roles convincing. The bright pink jackets, colorful lipstick, and big hairdo’s complemented their acting to make them the perfect uniform group of popular Rydell high girls.
The final part of the play that amazed me was the dancing partnership of Charlie Cannon and Kennedy Pierce. They did a masterful swing dance for the Rydell dance competition, one which involved Pierce’s hurling through Cannon’s legs and flying out to his left and right in mid air. I don’t know who taught them to dance like that, but kudos to that person.
My above comments aside I was impressed by everyone in the production. Sandy and Danny’s duets were phenomenal, the props were great (especially Kenickie’s car and the garage that housed it), and it was clear just how passionate every person on stage felt about that play. Thank you to all the actors, stagehands, members of the orchestra, teachers and theater tech students for dedicating so much time and effort to make the play go off as well as it did.