Friday, March 25

Broadway Across America: Grease

Sliding onto stage in Indy like Greased Lightning, Broadway Across America's presentation of Grease was fast-paced version and full of song and dance. First performed in Chicago in 1971, the musical become a hit on Broadway a year later, then a large percentage of vulgarity and rawness was deleted and turned into the blockbuster 1978 film starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton John, Frankie Valli, and Stockard Channing, among others.

Still dealing with teenage pregnancy, social outcasts, and high school dropouts, BAA brought in some strong talent for the Pink Ladies, including Lauren Elaine Taylor as head pink girl, Rizzo. The Gotta Go spotlight shines even more on Taylor for having the talent to forge through sound problems. Her powerful vocals and strength of presence on stage completely carried through the personality of the teen from the wrong side of tracks.
Alicia Kelly as Marnie, Lauren Turner as Jan, and Ashley Rubin as Frenchy, along with Taylor's Rizzo turned in great song performances with Freddy, My Love, and, with the T-birds, You're the One That I Want. Other songs which stood out were with Dominic Fortuna's Teen Angel and the girls in Beauty School Dropout, and Fortuna's Vince Fontaine and ensemble in Born to Hand-Jive.

Bottom Line: Lauren Elaine Taylor shines as Rizzo in Broadway Across America's Grease.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, music, restaurant and theater critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC and follow her on Twitter @ejmusgrave1 and Facebook.
Photos: Broadway Across America
Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

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