“Grease is the word”

I am sure everyone can recognize these lyrics from the opening number of the classic music motion pictures, Grease. How can we forget Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny’s (John Travolta) epic love story? Although I have and will never approve of changing yourself for anybody, I do, however, fully believe in accepting people the way they are which is the main point of Grease. All the reason I was so exited to here that this year Cypress Creek High School  dared to perform it. Did they succeed or fail?

Honestly I don’t think they reached either extreme. I can only describe it as mediocre, meaning that even though they weren’t as amazing as I know they have the potential to be, it was still a quality performance, especially for an amateur high school production. The factors that weighed the most on it’s overall success were the plot, setting, and each individual artist.

More often than not in the theater, an original story line must be altered to fit the performers, stage, and audience. Although that is understandable, in this case the plot was mixed, taken from, and added to so much it made it hard to follow. The famous “Sandra Dee” song that is originally timed during the girl’s sleepover was moved to a public bleacher scene with all the guys present. As a consequence, the message of private struggle that every girl goes through to find out who they are was exposed and did not hold the same meaning. Plus, Sandy’s character was completely excluded from the dance because the whole scene was altered so that Danny goes with Rizzo and ends up with Cha Cha, leaving Sandy moping around and randomly singing “Sandra Dee’s Reprise”. These are only a few of the drastic changes made that marred the plot and its message.

On top of that, the settings were very limited, but what most bothered me was the backdrop because it did not show whether it was day time or night time. On the other hand, they did a great job pulling off the “Grease Lighting” scene by painting one side of the prop car as a rusty old junker and then turning it during a frenzy of lights to show the other side of the car painted smoothly with flames and all that jazz. The setting would have been more effective had not the plot been as confusing, but because it was, my imagination didn’t have energy to fill in the gaps.

Most important was the lack of individual talent. When asked what my favorite part was by a fellow audience member I could only think of the number, “Beauty School Drop Out” and only because it starred Jeff Williams, the drama director. Hannah Pawlak who previously played Wednesday in the Adam’s Family Musical spectacularly, didn’t seem as into the part this time around. There was hardly any chemistry between her character and Nick Martinez’s (Danny) and it was missed. Jan, played by Allie Ramirez stood out the most with her smooth singing, though Kinickie, played by Ricardo Da Costa, and Sonny, played by Wildlin Pierrevil, were not very far behind. Unfortunately, no one can out-do the original actors but I guess my expectations were just set a little too high.

Audience Reviews:

“The performance didn’t correlate with the price of entry”- Joel Rosario

“The students were having a hard time getting things together and it showed”- Tiffany Munoz

“It was good on a high school level, but definitely left us expecting more”- Jennifer Santiago