reviewed by Ken Klingenmeier

Most of us are familiar with the popular musical Grease from the 1978 film version which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Of course, it was first a small offbeat show put together by friends Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs which developed from its early form in a small nightclub in Chicago in 1971, on through to an off-Broadway styling in February of 1972, before becoming a full blown Broadway hit in larger and larger venues until it closed in 1980 with a run totaling 3,388 performances.

Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre adds to the show’s history with a talent filled edition directed by Eddie Curry, and choreographed by Ron Morgan. Musical director Terry Woods adroitly manages the song filled score and Jill Kelly Howe’s costumes fill the stage with color and throwback 1959 style.

Sarah Daniels as Sandy Dumbrowski and Kaleb Lankford as Danny Zuko take center stage in B&B’s production of “Grease”.

B&B newcomers Sarah Daniels and Kaleb Lankford take the epochal roles of Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko, applying masterful singing talents to each character’s catalog of songs. Ms. Daniels has had prior experience in the role and it indeed shows as her choices seem both easy and genuine. Lankford’s Zuko is a lively conveyance of all the traits we expect from the “greasy” character. As I noted, both have killer voices and it is a pleasure to hear each of their performances in the production.

Sandy and the Pink Ladies (left), and Danny and the T-Birds (right) remember Summer Nights in a scene from B&B’s production of “Grease”.

But this element of polished vocal skills doesn’t end there. Pink Ladies Casi Riegle (Betty Rizzo), and Kristina Kastrinelis (Marty), plus T-Birds Andy Kear (Roger), and Josh McLemore (Doody), along with Joshua L.K. Patterson (Teen Angel) all knock it out of the park with their amazing voices. Add in the entire cast’s dancing prowess, plowing through Ron Morgan’s inventive combinations with wild enthusiasm, and you have just the right recipe of ingredients to make a memorable show.

Miss Lynch (Karen Pappas) gets caught up in the moment in a scene from B&B’s production of “Grease”.

And I can’t leave out the wonderful comic touches added by Karen Pappas as strait-laced teacher Miss Lynch, B&B fave Jeff Stockberger as the slick and creepy radio DJ, Vince Fontaine, along with a side order of Chris Trombetta as the socially inept Eugene.

Bottomline: You are going to love the entertaining work this high quality cast puts forth. It is such an attractive, joyful bunch of performers. Keep in mind that it IS rated PG-13, but for the most part, the show is a spirited romp with many highlighted moments. Oh, and the buffet was top-notch, too!

Grease continues at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre through March 31st. Get show times and reservations at http://www.beefandboards.com or you may call the box office at 317-872-9664.

  • – Photos by Julie Curry