Students energize musical `Grease'


Howard Live

March 25, 2004|By Sarah Branzelle | Sarah Branzelle,GLENELG COUNTRY SCHOOL

Think back to a time of poodle skirts and saddle shoes; to a time of teased hair and bottles of pop. Such is the setting of the classic musical, Grease, which tells the story of a love-struck couple, Danny and Sandy, who are torn apart by social pressures from their peers at Rydell High School.

Danny, known for his reputation as the "bad boy," being the leader of the rebellious Burger Palace Boys, denies his feelings for "goody-two-shoes" Sandy when she unexpectedly arrives at Rydell in the fall, after their rendezvous at the beach in the summer. However, feelings run deep, and Grease chronicles the efforts of Sandy and Danny to keep their love alive, even if it means changing who they are.

Howard High School's recent production of Grease was full of energy, keeping the audience engaged. Cameos by Keith Richard as nerdy Eugene and Christea Parent as overachieving Patty Simcox added the needed comedy to keep the show going. Both performers executed their roles with impeccable comic timing and hysterical character development. The believable relationship between Sandy and Danny, played by seniors Kelly McGuigan and John Koutris, exemplified what it means to be teen-agers in love.

Although difficulties with the sound made it challenging to hear the actors at times, Koutris, in particular, stood out as an impressive vocalist, shining in one of the final rock 'n' roll numbers, "All Choked Up." Lisa Foreman, as Marty, also resonated through the theater with her number, "Freddy My Love."

The highlight was Arin Foreman's rendition of "Beauty School Drop Out." Foreman, who also played Sonny, a Burger Palace Boy, showcased his skill as a vocalist in his portrayal of the Teen Angel. The song, directed to Frenchie, a Pink Lady who has dropped out of beauty school, gave the second act a boost of energy.

Despite the minor technical difficulties expected in any high school performance, the students provided an enjoyable Grease. The performers were having fun, and as a result, the show was fun to watch.

Sarah Branzelle reviewed "Grease" for the Baltimore Cappies, a program in which students review high school productions and vote on awards for outstanding performances. Howard High presented "Grease" from March 18 through Saturday.

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