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Review of Grease at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

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Quote of the Day: What’s the point of living, if you don’t take a few chances. Sandy, in the musical Grease, playing now through October 28, 2017, at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

This musical originally played at the Kingston Mines nightclub in Chicago in 1971. It’s a musical about the culture, and songs, of the 1950’s told from a 1970’s perspective. It’s been everywhere from Broadway to high school stages, and back again. It is currently playing on the main stage at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in Chanhassen, MN with a stellar cast, all the poodle skirts, leather, and hand-jiving you can stand. I LOVED it! In fact, I want to go back and see it again, either with my boys, or a girlfriend trip, or both

Caroline Innerbichler as Sandy and Aleks Knezevich as Danny in The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ production of Grease. Photo by Dan Norman, 2017

You know the story, boy meets girl, they have a little fling on those hot Summer Nights then go their separate. When they get to school, Rydell High, their peer groups sing “tell me more, tell me more.” They quickly figure out that they come from different social circles, but this is high school, and people evolve. As they’re all trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of life, relationships develop. 

The guys are too cool for school, smokin’ and talkin’ smack, and droolin’ over a new ride, which is “automatic…systematic…hydromatic, why it’s Grease Lightning!” Aleks Knezevich plays a dreamy Danny, who struggles with being one of the cool dudes and the sensitive guy that Sandy fell in love with. And, oh, ya, he has the voice and the moves to make the ladies swoon.

The guys singing “Greased Lightning” in Grease at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Photo by Dan Norman, 2017

Frenchy (Shinah Brashears) has definite career goals, but finds them harder than she thought to realize. As she laments her academic distress, she calls on her guardian angel to bring her guidance. The Chanhassen gives homage to the ghost of its beloved son Prince, as his angel appears in all his glory. Kasano Mwanza who plays the Angel Prince brought the house down with his amazing talent and brilliant portrayal of this character with his Beauty School Dropout and all the wonderful vocals. 

Kasano Mwanza as Teen Angel in Grease at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Photo by Dan Norman, 2017

Caroline Innerbichler plays a darling Sandy. She, of course, is conflicted by her “good girl” image and social pressures to stay that way, and being true to herself. She is challenged by Rizzo who doesn’t give a rip what anyone thinks of her. She’s her own woman, cigarettes, tight pants, smart-ass attitude and all. She’s one of my favorite characters, and Ruthanne Heward plays her with sass and sensitivity. Watching/hearing her sing There Are Worse Things I Could Do gave me more insight into her character than I’d had before. Brava, Ruthanne! You were stunning. 

Grease is a high energy, knock your bobby-socks off, production at The Chanhassen. Thank you for the invite for media night. We had a blast. Our faces hurt from smiling so much!

Grease is playing at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres through October 28, 2017.

Cast of Grease at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Photo by Dan Norman, 2017

If you’re wondering if this play is sexist, feminist, or something else, check out this article by blogger TheMarySue. Plus, she includes the video of the song We Go Together, which you can’t listen to without smiling! 

We go together
Like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever
As shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom
Chang chang changitty chang sha-bop
That’s the way it should be
Wah-oooh, yeah!
We’re one of a kind
Like dip da-dip da-dip doo-wop da doo-bee doo
Our names are signed
Boogedy boogedy boogedy boogedy
Shooby doo-wop she-bop
Chang chang changitty chang sha-bop
We’ll always be like one, wa-wa-wa-one
When we go out at night
And stars are shinin’ bright
Up in the skies above
Or at the high school dance
Where you can find romance
Maybe it might be love
Rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong
Shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom
Chang chang changitty chang sha-bop
Dip da-dip da-dip doo-wop da doo-bee doo
Boogedy boogedy

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What’s your favorite song from Grease? Did you ever go through an identity crisis? 

  1. I’ve seen the movie but I bet the play is more engaging and fun.

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