Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre production of Grease begins with Seattle's own Dusty 45's featuring Billy Joe Huels as Johnny Casino. The rockabilly band starts performing ten minutes before the show and continues rockin' for the next couple hours. This is a special treat for those of us who can remember when Bill Haley and Elvis ruled the airways and dance floors, and it's even more amazing when Huels plays his flaming trumpet. It really is on fire.
Grease focuses on a 1959 band of misfit outsiders and their Rydell High School Prom and their musical quest to find true love (at least for a moment) and their place in the world. Filled with plenty of fifties-type songs, Grease also had an interesting story line as hero Danny Zuko played by Bryan Gula (who is a veteran of the 5th Avenue's Rising Star Project) and heroine Sandy Dumbrowski played by Solea Pfeiffer struggle to overcome the teenaged barriers that most people have encountered in order to be together.
It's the classic Romeo and Juliet plot played out with leather jackets and lots of singing and dancing by a cast of extremely talented individuals who perform in perfect harmony with one another. Particularly invigorating are the group dance scenes in which everyone seems to be continually aware of everyone else's position and next move.
The vivid costumes and scenery tie the show together with a bright bow of artistry, creating an evening of exciting entertainment for all ages and leaving most people humming the hit You're the One That I Want. Grease continues at the 5th Avenue Theatre through August 2.
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