‘Grease’ is the word for ‘Summer Lovin’’ at Players Guild

Photo by Jennifer Deckert The Players Guild of Dearborn presents “Grease” July 12 to 15, with Matt Apostle (left) as Sonny, Parker DeMarco as Roger, Graham Dallas as Doody, Aidan Gabriel as Danny, John Biscaro as Kenickie, Olivia Palise as Rizzo, Grace Bertucci as Sandy, Molly Boudreau as Frenchy, Natalie Duffy as Jan, and Lane Straub as Marty. For tickets or more information, call 313-561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.

Photo by Jennifer Deckert
The Players Guild of Dearborn presents “Grease” July 12 to 15, with Matt Apostle (left) as Sonny, Parker DeMarco as Roger, Graham Dallas as Doody, Aidan Gabriel as Danny, John Biscaro as Kenickie, Olivia Palise as Rizzo, Grace Bertucci as Sandy, Molly Boudreau as Frenchy, Natalie Duffy as Jan, and Lane Straub as Marty. For tickets or more information, call 313-561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.

By Sue Suchyta
From the Front Row

Blast back to the ’50s, where the Pink Ladies and T-Birds rule Rydell High, the music is toe-tapping and car culture reigns in “Grease” at the Players Guild of Dearborn.

The show runs 7:30 p.m. July 12 to 14, and 2:30 p.m. July 15 at the theater, 21730 Madison in Dearborn.

Kori Bielaniec directs the show, with Jim Walters as music director and Emma Garber as choreographer.

Bielaniec said she has an all-star teen cast in the Guildling production, and of the 76 youth who auditioned, the “best of the best” are in the show.

“It’s not a kid show,” she said. “I would put our kids up against a main season show, and they would knock it out of the park. They really are that talented.”
Bielaniec said that while the movie and the play both evoke nostalgia, the stage production has different music and a contrasting tone.

“It’s grittier, a little meaner, and you can feel the Chicago influence, which is where the show is actually set, in 1959,” she said. “We are doing the original version of the show, which means the music that was written for the movie, and then made available in the mid-2000s for the revival, is not in the show.”

Bielaniec said she hopes audiences enjoy the different songs and the choreography.

“I have no doubt that the audience is going to lose their minds when they see ‘Greased Lightning,’ ‘Beauty School Dropout’ and ‘Born to Hand Jive,’” she said. “I am blown away every time I see them.”

Garber said she tried to blend the iconic choreography of the “Grease” dance moves from the movie and play with her own touches.

“My goal was to create dances that got the cast pumped up and excited to be on stage, while also pulling the audience into the overall experience,” she said.

Garber said this show is appealing to all ages.

“The show is a wonderful, energizing and exciting experience,” she said. “The songs, set and cast are beyond amazing. This show will put a smile on your face and make you want to break out your dance shoes.”
Grace Bertucci, as Sandy, said her character is more than meets the eye.

“She is sweet and kind, but has a sassy side to her,” she said. “It’s been challenging yet exciting to try to understand her personality and motives, because she is different from any other character I have played.”
Bertucci said the characters and their interactions will appeal to audiences.

“From the T-Birds in ‘Greased Lightning’ to the Pink Ladies at the sleepover, you see the fun times shared with friends,” she said. “The show has love, heartbreak, humor, and hand-jiving. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

Aidan Gabriel, who plays Danny Zuko, said audiences will have a good time.

“This show’s cast has a drive to be creative and energetic,” he said.

John Biscaro, who plays Kenickie, agreed that the strong and dedicated cast drives the show.

“Everybody loves what they do, and it really shows,” he said.

Lane Straub, as Marty, said the cast works well together.

“The cast chemistry is what makes this show,” she said.

Straub said Bielaniec is a great director with whom to work.

“She’s putting her own spin on ‘Grease,’ making it even more appealing to audiences of all ages,” she said. “Displaying true friendship takes it to another level.”

Graham Dallas, as Doody, said he enjoys playing the goofy friend.

“He’s boyish when compared to the other T-Birds, and this adds to his charm,” he said. “We’re both a bit silly, and like to make people laugh. I see a lot of myself in the character.”

Molly Boudreau, as Frenchy, said the show is filled with amazing numbers not in the movie.

“I think people should see this show,” she said. “It’s not the same as the iconic movie, and some songs that were in the background of the movie are more prevalent.”

Also in the cast are Olivia Palise as Rizzo, Natalie Duffy as Jan, Matthew Apostle as Sonny and Parker DeMarco as Roger.

Katie Garber plays Patty Simcox, with Sean Peacock as Eugene, Jewell Redman as Cha-Cha DiGregorio, Case DeKoning as Vince Fontaine and Teen Angel, and Lauren Davidson as Miss Lynch.

The female ensemble includes Christina Bertucci, Zeinab Hamadi, Hailey Hayward, Adriana James, Khalia Mims, Courtney Perttula, Adriana Viscomi and Emily Walker.

The male ensemble features Andrew Brown, Gavin Deckert, Jonah Guevara, Brendan Hay, Nate Hermen, Nathan Wall and Oscar Vasquez-Torres.

Tickets are $12, and can be ordered at 313-561-TKTS or at playersguildofdearborn.org.