'Grease' returns to Minneapolis for some autumn lovin'

By Tatiana Craine

Grease first hit the Broadway stage in 1972 as a smash hit that was nominated for seven Tony awards. Six years later, the musical was immortalized on the silver screen. The classic film adaptation starred John Travolta, Olivia Newton John and Stockard Channing and was one the most successful movie musical ever. “Grease” tells the classic tale of a good girl and a bad boy falling in love, defying their peers and growing up. When new girl Sandy meets Danny, the coolest boy in town, they become smitten and spend the summer nights together. However, when the first day of school rolls around at Rydell High, their summer lovin’ gets put under the scrutiny of the spotlight. Sandy makes new girl friends, the Pink Ladies, who show her the ropes when Danny and his gang of Burger Palace Boys suddenly become too cool for her.

The musical was revolutionary for its time, addressing issues like peer pressure, dropping out of school, gangs and teen pregnancy. Over three decades after the musical’s debut, the themes still resonate with parents and kids alike. Recently, NBC hosted “Grease: You’re the One that I Want,” a show looking for talented individuals to cast as Sandy and Danny in a new Broadway production of “Grease.” The program, with over 90 million viewers, showed that America is still in love with “Grease.”

This November, the kids at Rydell High make another appearance in Minneapolis when “Grease” hits the Orpheum Theatre. Lauren Ashley Zakrin stars as goody-goody Sandy Dumbrowski, and Eric Schnieder plays bad boy Danny Zuko. The tour also boasts singing sensation Taylor Hicks, winner of the fifth season of “American Idol.” Hicks stars as the Teen Angel in the new production.

The 2009 tour promises to send audiences into the aisles bopping along to the show’s hit songs like “You’re the One that I Want” and “Summer Nights.