Ah! The aura of the 50s...
One can certainly appreciate the music and the fashion of that great era in Sunnyside High School's production of "Grease" (the school version).
This is a whimsical, fun and lively musical that gives its audience a peek into the days of poodle skirts and saddle shoes, leather, loafers and brylcream.
It was all there in the costuming of the cast that graced the stage this past weekend.
This is one of my favorite musicals and the cast absolutely blew me away. The vocals are some of the strongest I have heard on the stage at SHS.
Everyone was spot-on with their performances this past weekend. There wasn't a weak note among them.
The great thing about Grease is that, although the lead characters are Sandy Dumbrowski, portrayed by Denise Granados, and Danny Zuko, performed by Manny Rivera, several characters have moments to shine.
The musical pieces are captivating and one can't help but want to join in the songs, especially those who are already familiar with the classic movie version.
The music of the 50s is magical and the Sunnyside cast brings that magic to the stage.
The setting and the music are a focal point, but the messages of the era are timeless. Grease is about making choices in life, choices that affect many. It is about learning to change for the sake of pursuing one's dreams, following your heart.
Just as in real life, the characters must overcome misconceived notions, misunderstandings and stereotypes. The story is a coming of age story, with some romance and a little discourse.
Danny and his band of T-Birds, as well as the Pink Ladies, are rebels. However, there's more heart than the tough band of characters allow the outside world to see.
The sets are, as usual, simple. However, they provide the audience the opportunity to focus on the characters and the vocals. The sets provide just enough insight into the scene without being distracting. They also allowed plenty of room for the large cast to move around during the dance numbers, which were choreographed with classic steps indicative of the era.
Again, the music was the primary focus of the production, and it was absolutely wonderful.
Everyone was strong. Granados almost made me believe Olivia Newton John was on the stage.
The harmonies were perfect and the audience was captivated by Abby Gomez as Marty when she performed "Freddy My Love."
Emmanuel Torres, who portrayed Doody, also shone when he performed "Those Magic Changes."
If the voices of this cast are the future of the SHS drama program, I predict a very bright future.
I only had one complaint, and this may have been due to a technical issue...I felt Kenickie (Gerardo Alquicira) could have projected his voice better during "Grease Lightning," one of my favorite songs from the musical. It seemed he has quality vocals, but I could not hear him as well as some of the other cast members during their solos.
There is a surprise for the audience when Teen Angel makes his appearance on stage. It is a very pleasant surprise that I will refrain from giving it away because, judging from the audience response this past weekend, it would spoil the moment for those who have yet to see the production.
I must also give kudos to Meagen Meyers, who plays the character Frenchy. She was charming and disarming, as she should be. Keeping a perfect squeak to her voice and...that scream! It was absolutely ear-piercing from where I sat, which was not right up front.
I strongly urge anyone who has not yet attended the Sunnyside High School production of Grease to take the opportunity to do so this coming weekend. There are three more performances, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each performance is at 7 p.m.
The cost is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and students.
I promise, you'll have a great time.