Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What is the Word? Grease is the Word!!!

"Grease is the word....
It's got mood, it's got meaning!!!
Grease is the time, is the place, is the motion
Grease is the way we are feeling"

Front page of our program

My daughter received tickets to the musical "Grease" for her 18th birthday and I was thrilled to accompany her.  I asked if she wanted to go with a friend but she said, no, she preferred to go with me because I "knew" Grease.  I was, after all, the one who gave her the DVD version of the 1978 film starring Olivia Newton John as Sandy and John Travolta as Danny Zuko.  "A" was quite impressed with it.  John Travolta looked quite "hot", I think is the word she used.

So off to the Jubilee she and I went Saturday night.  Excitement mounting as we ascended the stairs, passing ladies in poodle skirts and leather jackets.  True Grease fans for sure.  We found our seats and were entertained by Eddie Mekka, of Laverne and Shirley fame.  His opening line was "What is the word?"  And we all knew it.  "Grease is the word"  the audience heartily replied.  Thus began the momentous Broadway musical rendition "Grease".

Eddie entertained for 15 - 20 minutes, teaching the audience the hand-jive, I still get mixed up with that, and some "do wopping".  Did you know the words  "schlemiel" and "schlimazel", from the Laverne and Shirley theme song, mean "loser" and "bigger loser"?  Nor did I!
While the audience was taking their seats prior to the show, "A" took a couple photos of the theater.  There's not a bad seat in the house.  No photography was allowed during the performance, however.
Grease is the story of high school seniors, their loves and dreams, dating, and rock and roll.  Opening scene, first day of school, on bleachers the T-birds and at a table the Pink Ladies.  Sandy (Alyssa Herrera) is introduced as Frenchie's (Ashley Rubin) neighbour and "Summer Loving" is remembered by both the guys and girls.  The musical follows the movie roughly with a few new songs interspersed, scenes and situations were portrayed a bit different.  "Sandra Dee" sung by Rizzo was performed in Frenchie's bedroom but Sandy's response to the girls making fun came later. 

At times the music was louder than the performers' voices and oft times Sandra's voice was drowned out.  Other than these minor technicalities, the cast was superb.  The actresses who portrayed Marty (Alicia Kelly) and Rizzo (Lauren Elaine Taylor) were perfect while all the female characters were well defined.  However, the T-birds were less so.  Unless you really knew the characters, the audience might have troubles differentiating between them, especially Sonny (Patrick Joyce), Doody (Marc Winski) and Roger (Brad Lawson).  Their acting was great, just their individuality didn't come through.

It was a perfect evening and the enthusiastic audience, older children and adults alike, appreciated the performance immensely.

“It’s a little like Laverne and Shirley. (Grease) is a family show. For 90 minutes you can forget all that news and stuff that is happening in the world. It’s gotta have a lot going to last that long. We got a whole third generation loving it now.”  said Eddie Mekka.

Grease, featuring Mekka (as DJ Vince Fontaine and as the lead singer in Beauty School Dropout), is a production of Broadway Across Canada.  It opened Nov. 9 and ran through Nov. 14 at the Jubilee Auditorium.  Watch for it on its country-wide tour.


  1. Post note: Roger was more commonly known as Putzie.

  2. hee hee....
    «Louis», being an old car nut, noticed the '54 Chevrolet in the poster...

    (M. Scélérat, éditeur à «Louis»: Truth in advertising: you are just plain 'nuts'. Cars have nothing to do with it!

    «Louis» à M. Scélérat, éditeur: Aw, shaddup or I'll see how far my horns can launch you into the next county...

    M. Scélérat, éditeur: GULP!)

  3. Fantastic! When I work night shift, my co-worker and I would sing Grease songs to pass the time!