Grease (2007)

Book, Music, and Lyrics by
Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
March 1-24, 2007
ArtLoft Theatre, St. Louis

Danny – Brendan Allred
Sandy – Beth Bishop
Cha-Cha / The Radio – Mara Bollini
Marty – KinĂ© Brown
Miss Lynch – Cindy Duggan
Sonny – Joseph Garner
Patty – Erin Marie Hogan
Vince Fontaine – Matthew Korinko
Jan – Katie Nestor
Eugene – Chris Owens
Frenchy – Isabel Pastrana
Johnny Casino / Teen Angel – Jeffrey Pruett
Kenickie – BC Stands
Doody – Scott Tripp
Rizzo – Lainie Wade
Roger – Jeffrey M. Wright

Director – Scott Miller
Assistant Director – Khnemu Menu-Ra
Choreographer – Robin Michelle Berger
Fight Choreographer – Nicholas Kelly
Dance Captain – Jeffrey Pruett
Set Designer – G.P. Hunsaker
Lighting Designer – Kenneth Zinkl
Costume Designer – Russell J. Bettlach
Sound Designer – Steve Massey
Props Master – Vicki Herrmann
Asst. Technical Director – Robert Strasser
Lighting Technician/Food Wrangler – Trisha Bakula
Concessions/House Manager – Ann Stinebaker
Box Office Manager – Vicki Herrmann
Graphic Designer – Matt Reedy
Photographer – Michael C. Daft

Piano/Conductor – Chris Petersen
Bass – Dave Hall
Guitar – Mike Renard
Percussion – Mike Schurk
Reeds – Marc Strathman

“Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s Grease is one of my favorite shows, and I’ve seen several different versions over the last few years. Having seen the movie when I was a teenager, I’d always preferred productions that included songs from the film. But, ever since I saw New Line Theatre’s raw, original take, I’ve become something of a purist.” – Chris Gibson,, reviewing the national tour in 2009

“Witty entertainment with something to say about teen sexuality, peer pressure and the erotic power of pop music. It must have been there all along, hiding under layers of poodle skirts and Clearasil.” – Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“New Line opts to go back to basics and present the play more as it was originally conceived complete with raw language and frank sexuality. This is a horny and vulgar Grease that flips the bird at convention. It’s a daring approach that pays off for the most part… While I’ve always enjoyed the movie, it focused less on the other characters and plot elements and became more of a star vehicle. What New Line is presenting is more of an ensemble piece and, thankfully the cast delivers an entertaining night of theatre with attitude.” – Chris Gibson, KDHX-FM

“The best thing about the current production of Grease by the New Line Theatre is the tight, driving band led by Chris Petersen. The night I was there, a good chunk of the audience stood around after the show to listen to Petersen channel Jerry Lee Lewis as the band wound things up. There is nothing dull on that bandstand.” – Bob Wilcox, West End Word

Don’t be fooled into thinking Grease is just some silly spoof of the Fifties, a lightweight excuse to play some fun music. No, Grease on stage is as different from its movie version as Hair and Rocky Horror are from theirs. Grease originally took its inspiration from Hair and other alternative theatre pieces, and in its original form, Grease was raunchy, loud, vulgar, intentionally unpolished, a giant Fuck You to mainstream Broadway aesthetics. But more than anything else, Grease was Authentic. It understood the raw, untrained sound of early rock and roll, and the special energy of horny kids.

This was no cotton-candy musical comedy. It was smart, sly, insightful social commentary about one of America’s defining moments, a moment when our country moved from the repressed 1950s into the sexually adventurous 1960s, a moment when rock and roll – the first art form made exclusively for teenagers – was giving birth to the Sexual Revolution. Grease isn’t a story about young love, and its main characters are not really a teenage boy and girl. No, this is a show about sex in America. And the main character is rock and roll.

Critic Michael Feingold wrote in his introduction to the first published Grease script in 1972:
Grease does not discourse about our presence in Saigon. Nor does it contain in-depth study of such other 50s developments as the growth of mega-corporations and conglomerates, the suburban building boom that broke the backs of our cities, the separation of labor’s political power from the workers by union leaders and organization men. Grease is an escape, a musical designed to entertain, not to concern itself with serious political and social matters. But because it is truthful, because it spares neither the details nor the larger shapes of the narrow experience on which it focuses so tightly, Grease implies the topics I have raised, and many others. So I think it is a work of art, a firm image that projects, by means of what it does contain, everything it has chosen to leave out. And between the throbs of its ebullience, charm, and comedy, it conveys a feeling, about where we have been and how we got to where we are, that is quite near despair, if one wants to dwell on it.
Because they lived it, the creators of Grease understood that wild, thrilling, disorienting moment in our cultural history, that brief window in the mid-20th century when death and despair were not hanging over America's collective head, after the tumult of the Depression, two World Wars, and the Korean War – and before Vietnam, race riots, Watergate, and the energy crisis. This was a very special, very rich time in America that created some of the most influential culture in the history of the world.