Beloved to play opens in Kincardine on May 17
Generations after the play was first staged in 1971, Grease is still the word.
The beloved play, complete with teenage love, muscle cars, slicked back hair, leather jackets and poodle skirts, will be staged with a fresh cast by the Kincardine Theatre Guild starting May 17.
While the play about teenagers from the 1950s is nearing its fifth decade on the stage, Madeline Hill, who plays Sandy Dumbrowski said the themes are still fresh.
“It’s a coming of age story, which I feel like everyone can connect to at some point of their life,” said Hill, 16.
She is situated in the play with Benjamin Hearn, 21, who plays Danny Zuko. The two didn’t know each other prior to being cast as star-crossed lovers and have worked to build a friendship to help with the chemistry on stage.
“You have to become friends with them and get close in that way,” Hill said. “Being intimate in that kind of way is uncomfortable at first but once you build a friendship, which Ben and I are friends, you become comfortable with that person.”
Hearn said that he and Hill have been driving to the rehearsals together, to build a rapport and the results will be impressive.
“On the stage it’s going to look phenomenal,” he said. “She’s a great actor, I love working with Maddie.”
Staging a play the vintage of Grease, with its 1950s phrases — some nonsensical, others in poor taste for modern times — can require a bit of clean-up and clarifying. For the Kincardine Theatre Guild production, which is directed by Rob Millar, some racist language was removed from the original script as well as some slang that didn’t make sense to the mostly teenage cast.
What’s left, according to Hill, is a “new and improved” version of the play.
But members of the cast are not throwing out the style and tone of the play, with much borrowed and built off of previous versions and performances.
Slayde Millar, who plays the fierce Rizzo, said she’s tried to combine previous portrayals by Stockard Channing and Vanessa Hudgens, and put her own spin on the character.