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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Grease invasion at the TCC

    There was a time when leather jackets and pink poodle skirts roamed the earth; a time when it was totally cool for dudes to obsessively groom their hair and sing about their feelings before engaging in death races at the gorge; a time when “”grease”” was more than just another topping on your Big Mac … it was the word.

    Fifty years later, “”Grease”” is still the word – at least until March 1 at the Tucson Music Hall. The newest installment of the Broadway in Tucson series brings everyone’s favorite epic of ’50s high school drama to the Tucson Convention Center stage, where fans of the old-school John Travolta flick will find some new surprises – the least of which being the presence of American Idol winner Taylor Hicks (because when I think 1959, I think Taylor Hicks).

    The T-Birds and the Pink Ladies are aptly represented by a charming ensemble cast, headed by Eric Schneider as Danny Zuko and Emily Padgett as Sandy Dumbrowski. The sappy romance between the two young lovers guides the performance, but, unlike the star-studded 1978 film, Danny and Sandy’s comic cohorts are given just as much stage time as the leading characters. This emphasis on secondary characters is a nice refresher – especially given Schneider’s somewhat underwhelming performance as a tough guy – and in fact provides some of the most impressive, entertaining song-and-dance numbers in the show. For example, the off-color love ballad called “”Mooning”” – you can guess what it’s about – provides some welcome comic relief from all the romance, and showcases the beautiful voices of the oft-overlooked Will Blum and Bridie Carroll (playing Roger and Jan, respectively).

    The “”Greased Lightnin'”” number proved to be a huge crowd pleaser as the show’s male ensemble exploited their dancing chops and kicked around on the hood of a show-stopping, candy-apple red convertible. The biggest hit of the show, though, was easily Hicks’ smarmy performance of “”Beauty School Drop Out,”” a corny, hilarious number studded with sequins and skin-tight pants that was milked for absolutely all it could muster, including a brief harmonica solo and actress Kate Morgan Chadwick’s unexpected confession, “”I voted for you.””

    Overall, Broadway in Tucson’s “”Grease”” was just another telling of the same old story, as corny and adorable as it was entertaining. Once you get past the striking, whining voices of many of the supporting females, and the reality that Hicks gets to steal the show whether he deserves to or not, “”Grease”” will be the word on your lips for hours.

    Grease

    Tucson Music Hall

    February 24 – March 1

    Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

    Friday at 8 p.m.

    Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

    Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

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