"You're the one that I want!" Well, if a night full of extraordinary entertainment is what you want, then Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's production of "Grease" is the answer. From the high energy ensemble to the powerhouse vocals, this show never failed to amaze as it took audiences back to the greased hair and poodle skirt days of the 1950s.
"Grease" is a musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, and it was immortalized in the 1978 film of the same name starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. "Grease" is appropriately named for the lives of the greasers it narrates, specifically Danny Zuko. When tough Danny falls for the innocent new girl in town, Sandy Dumbrowski, social spheres are twisted and tangled with each catchy song.
The ensemble of "Grease" was impressive. Their high energy marked the big group numbers and their vocals were commendable throughout the show. The ensemble's energy made up for times when that of the leads fell short. All in all, though, "Grease" was full of well-developed characters, synchronized choreography, and high-caliber vocals.
In the role of Sandy, Cara Harpest shined. Her vocals were always top-notch, primarily in the song "Hopelessly Devoted to You". As Rizzo, the antithesis of Sandy, Carolina Meneses gave a star-studded performance. Meneses's characterization of this misunderstood bad girl was not only spot on, but was enhanced by her tremendous voice. Meneses showed off her incomparable belt in the show-stopping number, "There Are Worse Things I Could Do". Brittany Sinitch graced the stage as the adorably perky Pink Lady, Frenchy. Whether it was awkwardly dancing with Doody, played by Vincent Baierlein, or accidentally dying her hair fluorescent pink, Sinitch never failed to garner laughs.
Another notable performance was that of Melissa Mauer, who played the domineering English teacher, Miss Lynch. Mauer's characterization was highlighted in her posture and voice, clearly establishing her age and attitude. As the nerd that everyone loved to hate, Eugene (Steven Corin) gave a memorable performance. He truly made his character stick out, and managed to steal the show whenever he was onstage.
Technically, "Grease" did not run flawlessly. There were sound issues occurring throughout the performance, with mics popping and some characters being left completely inaudible. The set changes were long, leaving the audience waiting through several awkward blackouts. The creativity established by student director, Tamar Benjoseph, was indeed noticeable. Benjoseph combined scripts from the school version of the show, the Broadway show, and the film to create her own version.
"Grease" is a classic Broadway hit, and it never fails to be fun. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School brought the hit to their stage, and it was certainly a good time thanks to palpable energy, well-developed characters, and dazzling vocals. This production really proved that "grease is the word!"