Friday, July 31, 2009

Broward Center: Grease (1 review)

GreaseTourImageThe first National Tour of the recent Broadway Revival of GREASE opened at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on July 29. 2009.
The one that you want is back! GREASE, Time Magazine’s 2007 pick for “#1 musical of the year,” is rockin’ across the country in this new production direct from Broadway.
Kathleen Marshall directed and choreographed a cast that includes Eric Schneider, Emily Padgett, Taylor Hicks, Scot P. Alan, Will Blum, Bridie Carrol, Kate Morgan Chadwick, Brian Crum, Kelly Felthous, Dominic V. Fortuna, Erin Henry, Roxie Lucas, David Ruffin, Allie Schulze and Nick Verina.

Mary Damiano reviewed for
It's official: The movie version of Grease has eaten the stage musical of Grease and then regurgitated what's on stage now at Broward Center.
Watching Grease on stage now, the movie seems more fluid, more logical.
Hicks emerges from a giant soft-serve ice cream cone to sing his one song, "Beauty School Drop-out." Pay attention, "American Idol" winners: This schlock is what you have to look forward to.
The movie indulged in its own bit of stunt casting. The cast included many 1950s stars, including Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dody Goodman, Frankie Avalon and Edd "Kookie" Byrnes. The purpose in the movie was to enhance the feeling of 1959, which it accomplishes. At Broward Center, however, after ably recreating the mood and feeling of 1959, the audience gets dragged back to the present when Hicks takes the stage to sing his latest single and plug his new CD. At that moment, Grease the stage musical ceases to be relevant, and becomes nothing more than a gimmick.
There are a few bright spots in this production. While leads Eric Schneider and Emily Padgett have zero chemistry as Danny and Sandy, Will Blum and Bridie Carroll, who play Roger and Jan, are marvelous. These two do have chemistry in their scenes together and charisma in their big solos. Both have terrific voices with real range. The choreography during the high school dance hand jive scene is also a bright spot, and hints at what the rest of the show might have been.
Grease runs through August 2, 2009 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

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