Spend a Summer Night Watching GREASE with NAC

by Lesley Grigg
Danny (Alex Papatolis) and Sandy (Sarah Cohn) reminisce over their summer together.

Danny (Alex Papatolis) and Sandy (Sarah Cohn) reminisce over their summer together.

A full house celebrated Rydell High’s reunion with hopping music, delightful singing, and lively dancing. A nostalgic feeling filled the theater as the Reunion Chorus sang the school’s Alma Mater, which was then followed by a rowdier rendition by the Burger Palace Boys and the Pink Ladies. Their Alma Mater Parody set the stage for a high-energy show.

Back in the school cafeteria, Danny (Alex Papatolis) and Sandy (Sarah Cohn) filled their friends in about how they spent their Summer Nights. Papatolis fits the Danny Zuko profile as a tall, dark-haired, charmingly handsome young man with a rebellious side. However, his singing voice was not as confident as his swagger, and he struggled to hit the right notes throughout the play. Cohn filled her role as Sandy just as sweetly in voice and mannerisms. Her smile shined from the stage, and you could feel the girly giddiness and heavy heartbreak in her acting.

While the supporting cast did a wonderful job backing up the lead vocals with

Rizzo (Samantha Canale) singing to Sandy about worse things she could do in NAC's GREASE.

Rizzo (Samantha Canale) singing to Sandy about worse things she could do in NAC’s GREASE.

appropriate ooohs and ahhhs, each member of the Burger Palace Boys and Pink Ladies was given their time to shine, and they certainly owned their moment. Doody (Billy Ambrose) sang about Those Magic Changes in music and exhibited an unflappable air on stage. Marty (Kierceton Keller) gushed about her new love, Freddy, and showed off her tuneful alto voice as she flirted with the audience. Kenickie (Chad McCutcheon) introduced everyone to his prized Greased Lightnin’, which was just as impressive as his performance. There’s not much that impressed Rizzo (Samantha Canale), but Canale’s sultry cabaret-style of singing definitely did not disappoint. A personal favorite moment was when Roger (Cody Ayrer) and Jan (Carly Jane Curran) are Mooning over each other. This light-hearted love song not only entertained, but it featured the comedic talents of both Ayrer and Curran. The only time the ensemble outshined the leads was when Sandy and Danny really got All Choked Up at the end of Act Two and their solos could not be heard. The end of each act was filled with energy as the cast exclaimed how well We Go Together. They sure sounded swell together, and it showed when we witnessed the rhythm fill Sonny’s (Bobby Reiser) soul and was released in his spirited dancing!

Other notable performances include Logan Junkins as the Teen Angel and Jon Zucker as Vince Fontaine. Junkins hit all the right high notes as he led a chorus of curler-wigged ladies during Beauty School Dropout. Zucker’s resonate voice was perfect for an announcer, but the acting led to some awkward moments with Marty when the two were cozy in the corner of the stage, for it looked like they were sleeping standing up among the excitement of the dance contest.

The live band, led by Susan den Outer, did their part to keep everyone awake and toe-tapping. Props also need to go to set designer Ken Junkins and his team for the interesting way the set pieces were hidden and arranged. This NAC production of GREASE is perfect for a summer night of entertainment.

by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
Directed by Kathy Junkins
August 8-14, 2013
Newtown Arts Company
Newtown Theatre
120 North State Street
Newtown, PA 18940

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