Grease reunites Danny, Sandy, and the T-Birds 41 years after the beloved movie hand-jived its way into our hearts.
As part of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, this modern iteration of the classic looks to “shift some perspectives,” in the words of Michael Notardonato, who plays Danny Zuko, “and also the movement,” to adjust to less-problematic, 2019 sensibilities.
In the 1950s, as observed by the play’s choreographer Phil Colgan, “dance was used back then [as] such a social tool…it’s how these kids let go and express themselves.” Colgan and the actors have worked hard to update the dances with relevant, more contemporary expressions while having them still retain that iconic 1950s flair.
Heather Makalani, who plays Sandy Olsson, might not look quite like Olivia Newton-John, but she thinks that makes Sandy more relatable. “And I think I bring a lot of myself into the character because, yeah, I feel like I’m a strong woman and will not stand for certain things. And, so I bring that to ‘Sandy’ I think and that adds a bit of spicy flair to it.”
All in all, as summarized by Notardonato, “you’ve never seen Grease like we’re about to do it here.”
Grease will play at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, which is located at 6977 E. Lake Rd., Auburn, from June 5–26. Tickets and information are available at FingerLakesMTF.com.