Friday, April 3, 2009

Grease, Georgetown Palace Theatre, March 20 - April 19

The Georgetown Palace Theatre is back to doing what they do best -- a rollicking big musical comedy with lots of dance,sparkling with a glitzy coating of happy nostalgia. Grease is no trail breaker, but it's for sure an entertainment where the whole family can kick back and enjoy. With the bonus that they'll learn that live theatre is so much more than the talking pictures from the 1978 movie with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

Everybody's doing it. The Texas School for the Deaf puts on a version tonight and tomorrow, with the interesting twist that the the interpreters for the audience will be speaking, not signing. Tex-Arts is running a June theatre camp for youth that will culminate in performances of the show.

The Palace does the theatrical version of Grease, which originated in Chicago in 1971 and went on to Broadway. There's music not included in the movie version, but the story's generally the same: after a summer romance, sweet Sandy and greaser guy Danny encounter one another unexpectedly at their urban high school, with all sorts of social pressures from the Pink Girls clique and the guys' T-Birds gang (a pretty innocent group of gawkers, closer to the then-contemporary "Happy Days" TV show than to the gangs in West Side Story).

Scenes take place in the school cafeteria, at a slumber party, around a hot rod, in the burger palace, at the gym dance, at the drive-in movie, and at a party. No studying for these kids! Teachers are goofs and the class brain is, in today's terms, a nerd. But who cares? What's important is hormones, acting out, having a good time, and getting the chance to dance, dance, dance!

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