Northwest NEWS

May 22, 2000

Entertainment

Blast back to 'Grease' at Village Theatre

by Deborah Stone

   Village Theatre's 1999-2000 season finale takes audiences on a blast back to the past with the smash-hit musical Grease.

   The show is full of nonstop energy, fantastic dance numbers, and an irresistible set of popular tunes, from "Summer Nights" to "Greased Lightning" and "We Go Together." Set in the style of the streets of Philadelphia in the 50s, when the lives of American teens focused on American Bandstand, rock 'n' roll, and artists such as Fabian and Bobby Darin, Grease brings pedal pushers, burger palaces, and teenage angst to life.

   This is the type of show that the Village Theatre does best, and director/choreographer Steve Tomkins has chosen a talented cast with great voices who are able to give the production its driving force. The actors' portrayals of their characters' outrageous personalities hit the mark to a T with excellent comedic timing and delightful animation.

   Taryn Darr makes a perfect Sandy, sweet and innocent, yet so wanting to fit in with the "right" crowd. In the end, she is able to vamp it up and strut her stuff with the best of the Pink Ladies, which include beauty school dropout Frenchy (Mimi Rivinus), femme fatale Marty (Carolyn Magoon), chatty, chubby Jan (Meg Woods), and tough gal Rizzo (Kathy Henson), the leader of the gang. Henson plays her character with the necessary edge and belts out her tunes with power and resonance.

   Sandy's love interest, Danny Zuko (Cheyenne Jackson), swaggers his way through the show using his charm, good looks, and great voice. Other standouts are Garrett Brown as Doody, who does an over-the-top rendition of "Those Magic Changes," Mark Siano as bad boy Kenicke, and Christina Naficy as Cha-Cha. An onstage band, led by R.J.Tancioco, electrifies the house with rockin' music.

   Grease runs through July 1st and then moves to the Everett Performing Arts Center for performances July 7-23. For ticket information, call 425-392-2202.