With slick guitar licks, high school hand-jives and an "electrifying" drive, Chestnut Hill Academy and Springside School entertained in their playful production of the rock 'n' roll musical hit Grease.
Set among the drive-ins and burger shacks of 1950's heartland America, Grease, the beloved American musical hit by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, took the Broadway stage in 1972 and enjoyed a recent revival in 2007. It tells the story of Danny Zuko (Tate Sager), the brawny leader of his high school greaser gang, The T-Birds, and his star-crossed love for summer sweetheart Sandy (Casey Sullivan). When the lovely Sandy miraculously transfers to Danny's own Rydell High, everything should be perfect- but when the pressures of rebellion, social life and winning the next dance contest take hold, a satisfying production ensues.
Chestnut Hill Academy – Springside School gave an energetic and admirable effort. The cast brought together vintage school spirit and a bright, bouncy air, having a blast all the while with senior Kingsley Delacato's animated choreography.
Sager, as Danny, carried swagger and sincerity with his warm tenor and unabashed sense of fun. Sullivan, as Sandy, exhibited a sweet and loving tone in her rich soprano and, together with Sager, shared an undeniable chemistry.
Alec Rankin, as T-Bird second in command Kenickie, truly shone. As a big guy with a big heart, Rankin's lovably tough portrayal displayed skilled depth of character. And, in the female counterpart of the T-Birds, the Pink Ladies, Leise Trueblood as Marty and Shelby Green as Rizzo gave commendable performances. Trueblood's bubbly, flirtatious strut contrasted well with Green's mature wit, showcasing great development and attention to character.
Washes of bright, pastel color and a towering, two-story Rydell High comprised an impressive scenic design. Adding a unique charm to the piece, the more lengthy scene changes were accompanied with radio DJ Vince Fontaine's (Charles Trulear IV) storytelling to create flow and sustain the piece's verve.
In a lively and engaging performance, Chestnut Hill Academy and Springside School proved once again how much fun those "summer nights" can be.