Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Quince Orchard High School Grease

By • Apr 7th, 2008 • Category: Cappies

“We Go Together,” but how? The story is both familiar and timeless: boy and girl fall in love, but circumstances and social pressures keep them apart. Fate lends a hand, and the toughest of the black-jacketed greasers and the squeaky-clean goody-two-shoes make gutsy changes, freeing the love-struck teens to enjoy many more “Summer Nights.”

Quince Orchard High School’s peachy keen production of the musical Grease coolly captured the lives of the rebellious and thrill-loving students at the fictitious Rydell High. The electrifyin’ interpretation of the angst of teenage love and life energized this nostalgic celebration of 1950s youth.

Grease opened off-Broadway in early 1972. Skyrocketing ticket sales and first-rate reviews prompted a swift move to Broadway, where it became one of the longest-running Broadway musicals in history. Seeking a broader audience, Grease was brought to the big screen in 1978, starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, and the movie instantly became a box-office smash.

Christina Wolfgram, as Sandy Dumbroski, and Adam Kruszewski, as Danny Zuko, played off each other well as their characters changed, from the naive ingénue and the caring beau who shared a sweet summer fling to the tough-thug renegade and greaser-dream-date as their romance unexpectedly and problematically continued into the school year. Versatile Wolfgram and Kruszewski showed remarkable vocal and acting talent in their superb handling of such challenging roles.

Betty Rizzo’s don’t-mess-with-me attitude was captured by Katherine Worley. She nailed Rizzo’s hard-hitting sarcasm as the leader of the Pink Ladies gang. Triple-threat entertainer Scott Cicero never stopped moving and oozed charisma as a standout dancin’ Doody. Kevin Roshdieh, as Vince Fontaine, and Pete Borotto, as Kenickie, also provided notable performances. Roshdieh’s silky-smooth voice soothed his radio fans, and Borotto presented the spunky personality and tough-guy physicality of Kenickie, evident in his entertaining rendition of “Greased Lightning.”

While there were occasional delays in dialogue, the upbeat music always quickened the performance pace. The snooty Pink Ladies and bona-fide greasers, the Burger Palace Boys, added enthusiasm, energy, and momentum to the performance.

The ensemble actors never broke character and worked effectively together, especially as they skillfully executed the complicated choreography. Although there were occasional missteps, they neither distracted the eye nor interrupted the flow of the show. The large cast added realism to the production, making the fictitious high school life believable and lively.

The perfectly chosen props (Elizabeth Fisher) added to the fun fifties motif. The stage crew (Abby Grossblatt, Sunaina Mehra, and Laura Gordon) was extremely successful, and they were hardly noticeable in their period costumes. The band enhanced the performance with music filled with attitude and style, and its placement on the stage did not distract.

Quince Orchard’s marvelous musical production of “Grease” hit the right note as the cast and crew paid fitting homage to rock ‘n roll and 1950s teendom.

“Grease” will also be performed on Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12 at 7:00PM. Don’t miss it.

by Meghan Palmer of Bishop Ireton.

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