You have no idea how many times I’ve seen Grease, the movie. Perhaps you’ve seen it a few times yourself and sang along to songs such as “Summer Nights” or “You’re the One That I Want”. Yes, I am a sucker for musicals both on stage and on screen!
For those who aren’t aware, the movie was adapted from the stage performance written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. While the two have similar elements they are still quite different. With Grease, it's been so long since that original Broadway version, most people's point of reference is now the film. When they see a different version of the story it may seem unsettling.
This revival version of Grease is closer to the original Broadway version than the film. The story focuses mainly on the romance between Danny, a leather-clad greaser and girl-next-door Sandy. After a whirlwind summer romance the pair are unexpectedly reunited when she transfers to Rydell High for senior year. But can they survive the complexities of navigating personal values, peer pressure, and teenage life to find true love once more?
Most of the actors seem suitably cast for their roles, however I felt as if the role of Danny was miscast. It was hard to picture Ryan Reyes’s Danny as the de facto leader of the Burger Palace Boys. He seemed awkward and somewhat douchey rather than “cool”. Even his vocals, while strong, seemed to lack something special. I found myself wishing that Steven-Adam Agdeppa, who played Doody, had been cast as Danny instead. Agdeppa exuded charisma and an effortless “coolness” that Reyes’s Danny lacked. And yes, that boy can sing! Wait until you hear his version of “Those Magic Changes.”
I wasn’t quite convinced that Jenna Lea Rosen was a great choice for Sandy either until she belted out a stunning performance of “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” That’s when I was sold. She has a voice of gold. Overall, the entire ensemble was able to carry the show despite lack of chemistry by the two main leads. You can look forward to Domonique Paton’s notable performance as Rizzo and her soulful yet powerful voice in “"There Are Worse Things I Could Do".
The visual elements of the show were outstanding. Everything from the set, to the lighting, costuming, and choreography was absolute eye candy. The audience is met with a collage of images that plays homage to the 50s era. The costumes were full of color, style, and movement. The lighting added pops of color to the already vibrant stage. Pair all of that with fantastic choreography by Christopher M. Albrecht that fills the stage and you have yourself a show that leaves you feeling energized.
Of course you’ll hear your favorite hits such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and “You’re the One That I Want.” It will make you want to sing along and get up and dance yourself.
Overall, you will have a rockin’ great time experiencing this show and I highly recommend you go check it out.
Take a look at my behind-the-scenes before, during and after photo gallery here.
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is located at 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada. Tickets range from $19 to $90 (students $14). For information and reservations, call 562-944-9801 or 714-994-6310 or visit here.
January 20 - February 12, 2023
Open-Captioned performance: Saturday, February 4 at 2:00 pm
Thursdays at 7:30 pm
Fridays at 8:00 pm
Saturdays at 2:00 pm & 8 pm
Sundays at 1:30 pm & 6:30 pm
Run Time: Approximately 2 hours plus an intermission.