Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Grease

Stumptown Stages
Posted by Frenchglen February 24, 2007; closes March 24, 2007

Enjoyable, downright silly fun. Stumptown’s regulars turn out for a reunion tour to old RHS. Two microphones passed around when needed, but unamplified lung power takes center stage in this intimate production. Solid, barely visible band lays down time at just the right volume. Quietly growing IFCC venue has arrived.

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw it on a sold out night, and I know why it sells out!! I think that most people don't realize that this production is a compliment to the original GREASE broadway production. (Not the movie that was actually changed FOR the movie) It mimics the style and in it's own right, showcases the raw talents of the actors! Not to mention, a 30th year reunion is supposed to have older, wiser characters. KUDOS to the director and cast for throwing themselves to their audience in this RIP-roaring comedy, it was a night of laughs mixed with the memories of what grease meant to me back then! The hormones, the crush on Danny, and everything else involved! This is a must-see, and thank GOD they amped it up with a sassy Drag Queen! Margie still has it, and Danny is still cocky as ever. That cast of Pink Ladies and T-birds, boy, for 30 years later they can STILL sing and dance!!! And hey, isn't that the Teen angel from 20 years ago (Portland Civic Theatre)? All I can say is, the Stumptown Stages website shows this run "SOLD OUT" for almost half of their shows, and I for one am going again before we never see Grease again!

Anonymous said...

as is often said on this blog

*yawn*

Anonymous said...

Saw the show Sat night and mucho kudos to Lisa Marie Harrison, who could have just as easily been playing Rizzo in a more age-authentic version. Most of the other characters lacked a certain...I don't know what. Stumptown obviously has potential, but it is limited in that space. What's with the hand held mikes (completely detracted from the spontaneity of the numbers and made songs look like lounge acts) and lack of any kind of set but a backdrop? The bare black stage made me feel like they were doing a show in somebody's basement. Great band, great choreography, great effort on everybody's part - they obviously have a fun time. Time to step up the production values, Stumptown.

Anonymous said...

An actor pulling out a microphone was a convention of the original Broadway production of Grease. It's supposed to be humorous and we enjoyed it. You might have noted as those in our party did, the wonderful vintage microphones that were used in Stumptown's production.Drops?I don't recall any We enjoyed the blown up and framed yearbook pictures above a platformed bandstand.It was fun trying to guess who was who in the cast! We noticed various levels of platforms( that became all sorts of places as needed, and rolling locker units used to push Greases resident nerd, Eugene into.The cars were wonderful visual jokes that suited this energetic musical parody of the 50's. Use your imagination theatre goers or shell out $100 for a ticket and watch the scenery take a bow! Congratulations Stumptowners for bringing us affordable and quality musicals and showing off some of our great Portland talent!Looking forward to Stumptowns next show!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I thought Grease was one of the best musicals we've seen this year. The actors were all great. Loved the Grease Lightning number! Recognized some of the actors from other Stumptown shows we've seen. We highly recommend it. We've told lots of our friends. The photos were very clever!

Anonymous said...

I want to hear "Teen angel" again. He was wonderful. As were Corey, James P. and Kristy.wonderful funny show

Anonymous said...

why don't ron daum and melanie shaw's (as sonny and frenchie)characters have a solo spot? they are wonderfully funny character actors (as they were in 42nd st last summer)sound quality was poor and dan murphy's costumes were awful but all in all a very fun afternoon at the old firehouse

Carrie said...

You'll have to ask Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, I guess! Why aren't more people talking about Lisamarie's peformance?? Wowza! Dan Murphy was hilarious on Those Magic Changes. And yes, definitely wanted an encore from Andrew Foster. Oooh baby!

Anonymous said...

The play doesn't have solo songs for Frenchie and Ron D's characters. There never has been. I saw the show on Broadway more years ago that I like to admit and the songs didn't exist then and they don't exist now. The costumes were more like those I saw in that production. The leather jacket thing is from the movie for the most part. Good show.

Anonymous said...

I saw the show and was floored by the perfomances. EVERYONE in this cast can still Rock & Roll with the best of them. Teen Angel melted my heart, Johnny Casino's hips and legs are something to see, Sandy had me floored with her transition, Rizzo rocked my socks with her rendition of "Worse Things I Could Do", I can't stop telling folks about Eugene, Patty and Miss Lynch's antics. The entire cast moves like they are still in there 20's! Left the theatre wanting a hostess snack! Overall great buy for the buck and a nod to the original. Stumptown is on to something, anyone know if they are going to start season tickets? Eagerly waiting to hear there next season.

Follow Spot said...

Amusing, fired-up jalopy not without musical-theater horsepower. Successful: stirring vocals from hotter-than-ever Lisamarie Harrison’s Rizzo, sole character one cares about; dreamy Andrew Foster’s show-stopping angelic cameo; moony James Peppers, whose pitch is as perfect as his timing. Less: mid-age concept hard to entertain whole show; sputtering transitions; awkward microphone gimmick.

Anonymous said...

it bears repeating that the "microphone gimmick" is a direct homage to the original b'way show.

Anonymous said...

doesn't matter if it's an homage to the original -- if it gets in the way, then it gets in the way; I agree it all would have sounded better without (or with better use of) the handhelds

Anonymous said...

i didn't say it sounded good.
i said it wasn't a gimmick but an homage.
it deserves A for effort and B for sound quality.
as for getting in the way of the action, i couldn't disagree more.
it is PART of the action.

Anonymous said...

Show was great - but not for kids, maybe Stumptown could post this on their web site? Lisamarie's performance was outstanding as was that of Andrew "teen-angel"... Bravo. Corey and Margie held their own with their talented vocals. Enjoyed all the energy from the cast. Pink ladies were fun to watch in Freddy My Love. Sheila "Marty" has a nice sound vocally and not hard to look at. The boys - well boys will be boys.
I would highly recommend seeing this prodution. Good for adult laugh out loud humor.

Anonymous said...

yup! it's not the film and I was suprised to see preteens in the front row escorted out by their parents after a few "adult moments"
Outstanding performances abound: Loved the teen angel (beautiful vocal), Frenchy (so funny in all those differnt hairstyles), Randy Ron Daum as the resident "horndog", LisaMarie ripped as Rizzo, and Cha cha hysterical. Terrific energy!! A great time was had by our everyone in our party but I agree a bit raunchy/raw for the preteens.

Anonymous said...

Fun energetic show - Plan to go again. Nice to know people my age can still play a Zuko and Sandy. We enjoyed all characters in this show. Entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Wow, is all my children and I could say. Not appropriate for kids, well that is a personal decision. The whole show and being based in the 50's, what do people expect. We were not as politically correct then...Great Job to all the cast and crew.We will definatly be back to see it again!! Wow, Marty was a nice surprise with her excellent job being, well, Marty....Nice pipes..The entire cast really have great talent and look forward to more shows. It was fun seeing the "senior cast" still moving and a shakin.... gives all of us hope!!
I have read much about Lisamarie, which was excellent. But what about Jans performance?? She was amazing and the glue that made the show work..

Anonymous said...

We drove up to see this show and some of the performers in it. It was worth the trip. First act number of Freddy My Love was "cute" and light-hearted. Second act number of Worse Things I could Do was the best I have ever heard. Nailed it! Eugene,Patty, Ms Lynch are hilarious! So many wonderufl surprises in this show.... Teen Angel, Cha Cha - a particular acting moment after the dance - We won't give anything away here. Overall this cast worked very well together and we could tell they were having fun.

Anonymous said...

i think stumptown desereves all the credit for coming up with the idea in the first place!

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone else has mentioned this but THE BAND is TERRIFIC, nice use of small stage, loved the vintage mikes and the yearbook photos set. Burger Place boys were cut ups. Stand outs were Rowdy Ron Daum as Sonny and Nerdy Dan Murphy as Doody. Pink Ladies had great moments in their pajamas. Corey and Margie bring down the house with their rendition of "All Choked Up" and boy can she twirl a baton NOT! a silly fun and energetic outing. What's up next for these talented performers? (No they are not teenagers but neither are they SENIORS, they are Portland's seasoned professionals, we should be honored and proud to call them our own)

Anonymous said...

Loved that this production wasn't like the movie. Refreshing to hear songs that the movie didn't have. Frenchy & Jan performers were fun to watch with their innocent facial expressions while not so much innocence was taking place. Made it very funny. Sandy should never learn how to twirl the baton, she was funny! All the cast had so much to offer on stage we can't cover it all, but.. Great job cast for sharing the fun you were having with your audience. I hope to see it again.

Anonymous said...

But what about Jans performance?? She was amazing and the glue that made the show work..

3/12/2007 08:46:00 AM

Jans performance was well done, however there is no one character in this show that made the show work. It's not that kind of show from what I saw. Every musical number in this show was strong and every character had something to bring to the table.

Anonymous said...

I read the annoymous about the band - I would have to agree that they are doing an excellent job. I saw the performance opening weekend and again this past Saturday and there seemed to be times the band wasn't together this weekend, but overall they did a great job at keeping their levels low enough for the singers to be heard. As far as the comments of kids the audience, it's theatre - it's not the movies! I have my ARP card and I thought it was funny. Not so goody goody Marty and the first F word of the the night. Way to go "kids"..I enjoyed every moment.

Anonymous said...

GREAT ENSEMBLE WORK!!
We all will have our favorites and mine would have to be the 3 partial eclipses at the dance.
(_!_) (_!_) (_!_)
terrific fun.

Anonymous said...

i am privvy to inside info (friend in the cast) and i can tell you that the recent band probs were cuz they had a drummer sitting in for the regular drummer.
i guess he got much better the 2nd nite.
i can also tell you that i heard that the 30 yr reunion concept was brought to stumptown by cory who plays danny zuko.
anyway -- it's a fun, funny and rockin' show!

David Knowling said...

I flew out to see this show from Denver, CO and give the show over all a B+. There are very solid performances from Ron Daum, Doug Zimmerman, Andrew Foster, Sheila Bruhn, Gary Cash and an unbelievable performance from Lisa Marie Harrison, Andrew Foster WOW.. did I say WOW? . All the mentioned above were definately into their characters. The show just didn't work for me however. I think because I found no relationship between Sandy and Danny. I didn't believe that Sandy was really in love with Danny. The chemistry wasn't there between the two lead characters. The second leads, Rizzo and Kenickie were just the opposite, they had a great chemistry between them as did the other charactors in the show. Age really played no distraction for this show to me, only for one of the T-birds who was gray. He played the guitar and sang and danced okay but was really out of eliment in this whole production and really rather BORING. Ron Daum really kept the choreography alive and every move he made on stage was funny and unrehearsed. His chemistry with the others in the cast was very enjoyable. I was very entertained by his antics and facial expressions.

I am sure it is hard to see a show especially as an actor without personally reviewing it or comparing it to some other production. This is especially the case with a show like Grease that was such a popular movie. The orchestra was great as was the set.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I saw the show on Sunday to a sell out crowd so the word is out all over town. Reading all the comments posted prompted me to send my own. The band definatley has done a fine job - so much so that what we were able to see & hear of them - they just blended right in with the cast.. Good job band! As far as the cast - Each cast member did an outstanding job selling their character. The soloists made their songs their own and each were different and WOW! I would have to say that I felt there was some upstaging that took place during one particular scene, but yet was funny all the same. As for the comment posted about the grey hair guitar player.... Well, we disagree with you. It's Grease -the reunion right? And he had some funny moments and pulled our eye a few times with his inner child goofiness. Keep up the good work everyone. Cory, you brought something to the table that is different and has people talking - good move. And who knew M.Boule could crank out a song like the end number? We have tickets for next weekend,just couldn't get enough of all the crazy antics taking place. We are sure to see something new. By the way nice car!

Anonymous said...

sorry, i mispelled the guy's name (3-12 at 5:02 pm) -- it's corey with an "e" in it.
sorry dude.

Anonymous said...

Came up from Medford see the show. I'd seen Stumptown Stages Uriontown and loved it. My wife saw their last show Reefer and said it was wonderful. We liked everyone in the show but Danny character had zero charisma. Sorry. He's probably a good actor in the right role but really miscast here. Zuko was great as was the two disc jockeys. Band sounded great also.

William said...

Well, there it is...the entire remainder of the run is sold out. I saw the show opening weekend and was hoping to see it again before it closed. No need for anymore kudos I suppose, a sold out run is the ultimate compliment. Great job to all you guys! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

The character is Danny Zuko
and you like Zuko but not Danny???? Huh?

Anonymous said...

Saw the show tonight and loved it. Kirk Mouser is bringing some great vitality to Portland Musical scene. Loved him in Assassins. When's he going to do a show for Stumptown?

Lisa said...

I laughed so hard I was in tears. Every scene there was something. The show was fun, well done and I feel the talent overall was exceptional. This cast was having fun on stage. Made me want to join in. Thank you for the entertainment.

Gary Johnson said...

Costumes were questionable on some. Saw some 80's type attire. BUT......... that was the only negative. Sandy and Danny played their aged roles well. The hormonal attitudes of the guys was funny, took me back to my HS days. The pink ladies.... I knew someone like you. Both groups had their own distinct character and it was believable. Liked not having to think. Band is well together in their levels and I liked how they just blended with whatever was going on. The individual singers were amazing. Rizzo has as much power in her vocals as she does with her character. The transition of songs for Sandy is jaw dropping and Danny is having so much milking his songs I don't think he realizes just how good he is. Teen Angel, one song, one showing and you leave me wanting more. The other singers are just as talanted. Have to say my favorites were the nerd and cheerleader - Funny, Funny, Funny. I wish I could see it again, but good for all of you to have a sale out!

Anonymous said...

Who hasn't seen this show? This production was flat out hysterical. If you didn't see it you should have. One for stumptown to be proud of.

Paul said...

I keep going over every scene in my mind from last nights show and I can't say there was a favorite. Boy was your song and dance number funny at the end of act one. I'm an actor and I think it's time to audition for Kirk, your production was entertaining, and your performers are definatley into the whole show and the concept. Trivia amongst our group was who's the youngest? Marty - Jan - Frenchie can anyone answer that mystery question? Applause Applause

A fan of most~ said...

All of you performers - job well
done. I know many of you, but Sheila - your character within your song was very sweet. I know you as a solid powerful musician so this must have been a piece of cake or was it? Nice to see you back on stage. LMarie - WOW! Teen-Angel, you need to do more on stage with your voice. Casting in this show was done well. Entertaining.

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT JOB!!!! Stumptown, you should do more comedy and use your actors - they sold out your theatre. I am hoping I can manage to find another ticket.

Anonymous said...

Loved the show! Thought the characters were right on. Took me back to my high school days..."Can't Believe it!" Hairstyles, costumes, attitudes were right out of the fifties! Too bad the runs not longer.

Johnathan said...

2nd time seeing this show and it's just as good as the first time. But we did MISS your teen-angel from the first showing, what happened there? Plans to extend??? Come on Stumptown, I think your cast has too much energy not to continue on. I'd go again.

Suzanne ---- said...

Zuko and Sandy - way to go...! Sandy (Margie) you made me sad during your Raining On Prom Night when I saw your show on Saturday evening. You are a beautiful performer and I really enjoyed the changes in song from Prom night to the end number "choked up". Amazing! I will surely come see you perform again. Zuko (Corey) seriously, I had to take a breath for you while you held your note in your drive in movie song. Very strong and clear. The entire cast is just full of talent and I really believe you all are having a great time. I am tired for you. Way to go- thank you Stumptown for making this cheezy show your own. You all should be so proud to be a part of this.

Anonymous said...

Just saw this production today (Sunday) and we enjoyed the entire show and the entire cast. Rizzo - blew our mind with her powerful voice. YIKES! That's not to say that the rest of the soloists didn't do well, as everyone did an absolute top notch job. Cha Cha was a funny surprise! Eugene and Patty were hysterical. Goes to show you don't need to do much to get a laugh. Pink ladies are HOT HOT HOT.....We know it's sold out, but should they extend their run then those that haven't seen it, get your tickets and be prepared to have a good time.

Craig said...

As a gay man, I must say that Rizzo & Marty could make me think twice. Beautiful, vocals, boobs, and hitched? Chacha... yum! Seriously, this was a excellent show. The movie will do nothing for me now.

Anonymous said...

Stumptown Stages has done a fine job in choosing a show that has the audience wanting more. Congrats to a job well done by every member of this outstanding cast.

J. Webber said...

What an outstanding performance by every performer in this cast. Energetic, Funny. The Reunion concept of this show worked. Enjoyed the show from the moment we walked in the door. Hats off to Stumptown and your performers.

Anonymous said...

We enjoyed watching people we know having a great time -

dawn said...

Craig
"as a gay man......"
What about the guys??

Craig said...

dawn said...
Craig
"as a gay man......"
What about the guys??

3/19/2007 11:47:00 AM

I said cha cha.... yum! Rizzo and Marty comment was a compliment to them. I'm not confused, I just liked what I saw.

larry said...

Great job.

Rizzo and Marty said...

Thank you, Craig. Compliment much appreciated! You made our day!

Cha Cha said...

Craig. Call me.

Ciao, Aye yi yi! ;)

Anonymous said...

I am speechless after reading these comments. Am I the only person in portland (outside of my group that saw it) that thought this show was amateur, stilted & cringeworthy? The leads were so wooden you could build a fence and although there were a few standouts (Teen Angel, Eugene, Rizzo and Kenike) I honestly found the whole thing painful. I almost walked out when the drag queen version of cha cha appeared. It was entirely based on cheap obvious gags and there was no depth or emotion at all. Very disappointing and made even more so by these comments.

Anonymous said...

wow, can you say grumpy? someone has an issue with drag queens apparently. as for the rest of your diatribe, hmmmm. if you had seen the original b'way show, you would know that all the "cheap gags" are identical to that production (1972).
amazingly you single out eugene for praise when in fact his entire character is one cheap gag from beginning to end (done superbly).
not sure you really know what you wanted from the prodcution except apparently to be the voice of "reason" and put it down.
hey, it's a free country (so far)...
well, there are about 1,000 people who do not share your reaction.
either that or they were applauding and cheering just for the exercise.
it is said that those who find something unkind to say about others are simply unhappy with themsleves.
hey, maybe next time you'll get cast!
then folks can write nasty shit about you.
what goes around......

Anonymous said...

dear "speechless"
did you go to "grease" for the depth??
it's grease, it ain't shakespeare.

Live Theatre Patron said...

anonymous 3/23 11:29: I totally see your point. Considering the subject matter, surely studied at the finest universities for it's depth and emotion, might I quote from the material itself: "Well, a honky tonk baby, get on the floor, all the cats are yellin' they're shoutin' for more....my baby likes to rock, my baby likes to roll, my baby loves the chicken and she does the stroll..." Anonymous, I see your point. This should definitely be explored for more depth and emotion. Not at all for how it makes the audience feel when they see it. Point well taken. Thank you for enlightening us......
A Wop bop a loo bop a wop bam boom.

S-A-B said...

There is enough theatre out there for the in-depth performance that one may be looking for. People go to the theatre for many different reasons, but I am almost certain that the majority go to step away from reality for that short period of time. LAUGHTER is the key word here, it's fun, it's like hanging out with your closest friends and letting your hair down. We all are entitled to our opinions and I appreciate yours. It's too bad you couldn't go and "Relax"... it is what it is....

Anonymous said...

I and a small group of friends (fellow performers) attended this production last evening and I have to say that I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time. Enjoyed watching all characters. Great songs sung by talented cast members, funny characters - Jan had me rolling. I couldn't get enough.

Anonymous said...

Came to see this show to see people I have had the chance to share the stage with. I am jealous to not be a part of a show that is having so much fun. As much as I enjoyed the entire cast performance, I must give credit to those whom I know....Corey, enjoyed your performance, Sheila, your voice is as beautiful as ever and Ron, you are a crack up.

Jeri said...

YOU GREASERS WERE HYSTERICAL!! KEEP POKING FUN AT US OLDER FOLK, IT'S GREAT.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with a comment I read from the 23rd, or there about. I came to the theatre to be entertained. I know "Grease" is not "Crime and Punishment", however it may as well have been. It was a 'crime' to produce so shoddy a show for "vanity" purposes, shame on you Stumptown, sacrificing your integrity. And I felt I was being 'punished' for the better part of the evening. I'm perhaps in the minority but isn't there a standard to which we aspire? If we are all about the betterment of our theatrical community then we hold one another to higher and higher standards. Yes it's great to see firends perform but to be honest with them of the work they do is great friendship. Nobody set out to do crap. However, things can go off track very quickly if it's not clear why the production is being presented. There were a couple of preformances which really embodied "Grease". Teen Angel, Those Magic Changes-guy, and yes, some of the other voices were fine but the scenes were dreadful. Direction, direction, direction. Is this a foreign concept? This was my fist experience with Stumptown Stages. Congratulations for getting this going. It's great to have another viable company to grace our city. STEP IT UP! I look forward to Floyd Collins.

Anonymous said...

thank god someone finally nailed it.
it's all about direction.
as for the balance of this wanna be theatre critic's rant, give me a freakin' break.
one has to ask, have you ever seen grease? do you know that the show is a parody? and that this production was a parody of that parody?
you cracked me up when you said the scenes were bad, but that there were two standouts: teen angel (who utters nary a single line) and doody (who has precious few lines) -- so they were brilliant cuz they did no acting?
huh?
then, in a fascinating bi-polar turn of the review, this writer sez: congratualtions, you're a viable company and i look forward to your next show!
so apparently while comparing grease to a "crime" and watching it a "punishment," (clever!) you want MORE.
ok. thanks for making your opinion clear as mud.
hope you get to direct someday.
but pls make up your mind about what the play is about before you start rehearsals.

Harrington said...

Agree with all comments posted on this site including the most recent posts. Grease is funny and entertaining. I enjoyed it. I would have to agree that it lacked depth, but that would be the fault of the writer. Does it make the actors any less of a performer? No. There is definatley strong talent on this stage but could be better used in a different show, but what these performers seemed to accomplish was bringing the audience in on their fun. I think the buzz around town has people wanting to attend this show and see what all the hype is and may be dissappointed. I heard chat in the lobby of dissappointment of the show not being like the movie and not having the same songs as the movie. But if you are able to see the show with no expectations you will find it be enjoyable. The actors alone seem to A) have a strong following B) having a good time.

Anonymous said...

i was in the audience closing night when artistic director kirk mouzer announced that grease with be remounted at the world trade center in may!
i can't recall having as much fun at the theatre as i had at grease.
ROCK ON GREASERS!
thank you for bringing so much joy to world.
i look forward to more
summer lovin !!!!

Anonymous said...

harrington may be the most observant, considered and downright
intelligent posting i've ever read.
good job man.

Megan R said...

Saw the show for the second time last evening. When the announcement was made that Grease would be extended I was thrilled that Stumptown had a need from audience goers to do so. Weak show? Shallow show, ya probably? Show for the people who are looking for no brainer entertainment? Priceless! Already planning a night out with a group to attend..... boy will they be in for a surprise... (cha cha..)

stagebaby said...

as a member of the theater community i would like to praise stumptown stages and the performers for changing things up, and taking a risk. grease can be so boring unless done right and you guys nailed it! this show can be difficult to perform in a small space with a small cast, but it was a well made choice as it brought the show closer to home, and really incorporated the audience more than any show I've ever seen. compared with the productions of grease that i have previously seen, this "older" (many of you looking simply in your twenties) cast has much more energy and talent than any younger performers in other productions. my thirty year reunion (which actually wont be reached for a LONG time) at Rydell High was certainly one to remember. thank you for the expirience and extra kudos to the amazing director kirk mouser, and the talented performers; ron, shiela, lisamarie, kristi, margie, corey, andrew, joey, james, and a special shout out to the amazing Ms. nartan lol!!
keep it up stumptown!!!!!

Anonymous said...

As a person who sat down and read this entire blog page, let me offer this:
It is clear that this show is very important to people. "Grease" is a very popular piece -- it plays an important role in their lives. Witness the complaints about musical numbers missing. This is a problem when the major source of one's exposure to a show is the movie.
The movie, in this case, has practically nothing to do with the original work.
The dialogue is not the same, the songs are not the same (I counted 18 songs in the play and only a third of them made it into the movie --- and the movie adds new ones not in the play). Even the characters and plot have been significantly altered by Hollywood.
(Note also that newer B'way versions of "Grease" have been totally reworked over the years; even the music has been altered, reorchestrated, cut and amended.)
As a testament to how important this show is to people, this blog site has nearly as many posts for "Grease" as it does for PCS's "The Pillowman" -- the latest cutting edge B'way show, done in a $36 million theatre facility by a company who spends millions a year to produce its season.
Stumptown I doubt spent a lot of $ on "Grease" (and proved that you don't need to -- it's never about the set -- it's about what happens on the set) and it is mounted at the lowly IFCC -- a converted firehouse in North Portland.
Yet, it sold out, and "Pillowman" did not.
(And by the way, speaking of "Pillowman" for any actors who felt stung by any sharp tongued posts for "Grease" and for any bloggers who made those posts, check out 3-25 6:16 pm and 3-25 1:33 am on the "Pillowman" page.
They have opposing views, but are both interesting to consider.)
The last thing I want to say is: It is clear that this show entertained a lot of people -- and thoroughly -- and it is clear that some folks took exception to the style it was presented in -- my question is -- what did they expect? -- the movie is filled with "cheap jokes" as it were. Why were those bloggers who complained about the style of humor and acting surprised? It is baffling.
My theory is that it was brought on by envy, pure and simple.
And that's OK. That's part of life. It is sad that some have to rain of the parade of good feelings, but there it is.
For those that work so hard (for so little money) to create entertainment, I guess I would just offer: You can't please everyone and that's OK.
Rock on.
(By the way, I saw the show and thought it was pretty damn amazing. See you at the extension in May! I'll be singing along).

Anonymous said...

P.S.
I just checked and only 2 shows (of some 101 shows) got more posts than "Pillowman" and "Grease" and those were "Henry V" and "Mutt"

Anonymous said...

Anyone hear if there will be any cast changes with the extention and who the new people might be?

Anonymous said...

The extension starts Friday May 4th at the WTC, and new cast members include Jim Fernandez as Doody, Joey Klei as Sonny, Nartan Woods as Kenickie, and Donna Sellman-Pilorget as Jan.

crazany said...

It's Back!!!! And it's just as great. The new members make it a bit different show and it was engaging to
see the differences. Tight, strong vocals make the classic rock roll music just fun to listen to. The larger stage allows for better use of choreography and they've been able to add some technical surprises!!! Enjoy!!

Anonymous said...

and for those of you who enjoy carrie baldwin-sayre or matt preston's work, they are both understudying a couple of roles each.

a wop baba lu mop and wop bam boom.

Anonymous said...

GREASE THE REMOUNT
Well, the gang is back, with some substitutions, and the show still is rolicking but it has some settling in to do.
On the upside, the boundless energy is amazing, there are some fine new costume pieces; the car actually moves on its own; there is some fog for the Teen Angel.
On the "work in progress" side of things; the sound is generally not able to pick up the chorus numbers; the new Sonny and the new Kenikie don't look or act 50 (this is the 30 year reunion show by the way -- something cooked up by one of the actors.)
Newcomers in the Sandy and Doody roles do quite nicely.
When I was there, the audience loved the damn thing, but the house was only half full.

johnny c said...

here is the thing i find relevant about the experience that is GREASE.
it is, at its heart a simple mix of catchy tunes and likeable characters in a setting we can nearly all relate to: high school -- with all its angst and rebellion and sexual curiosity.
while it is true that at the heart of every popular musical are catchy tunes and likeable characters, this one is special, but how come?

beyond the aforementioned nearly universal element of taking place during our pubescent school years is the fact that this nostalgia piece came at a time when, in the wake of the no holds barred sixties, we apparently longed for the simpler, more innocent times of the fifites when gangs carried weapons like pipes and bats instead of 9mm glocks -- and when a rumble was scheduled, usually one of the parties opted to grab some burgers instead of showing up at the appointed place and hour.

if you lived it, you are now 65 or so. if GREASE is part of your youthful lexicon as a musical rather than a way of life, then you are about 55 or so. if your primary exposure came from the film rather than the play, then you might be in your forties.
of course if you are younger, they will probably still sell you a ticket.
afterall, the movie is available on dvd and the play has never been without a production over the last 35 years.
it is now getting a new broadway mounting.

but no one has ever, to this writer's knowledge, thought of the ploy of taking the original premise that this is a reunion gathering, and casting performers who are themselves seeking to revisit their youth -- to rekindle the thoughts and emotions from those bygone days.

this version comes then with the unique opportunity for the audience to relate directly to the performers who, like them, are at a certain stage in life where they seek to bask in the pleasanter memories of their days of homeroom teachers, freaking out over the unfortunately placed zit which errupts just before the big date, allowances, getting grounded, getting braces, getting your learner's permit, buying your first rubbers, being "late".

whether you relate to the bad boy, the babe, the nerd, the outcast, the new kid, the square, the prude, the sex pot, the rich kid, the shy kid....you are one of these people and they are singing your song.
which one were you -- which one did you aspire to be?

it used to be that half the population watched the most popular tv show -- that will never happen again. that bond that gave us a common touch stone -- those days are gone forever. now a hit tv show gets 10% of the population.
we will never be the communal country we once were -- when the mousketeers was the cool show for 18 year olds and gas was 25 cents a gallon and there were only 48 states.

the best part of the theatre experience for me as a member of the audience is not just the laughter and applause shared with my other attendees, but the intermission where i can mingle anonymously and catch the odd comment, the clever observation, the praise for something i too admired. it makes me feel connected to them, to the world, to my fellow beings.
theatre serves an invaluable purpose -- to demonstrate unequivocally that we are mostly the same. we are more alike than dissimilar. that we all care about the same basic things. our families, our country, our world.
GREASE has all those things?!
you bet.

Anonymous said...

and great tunes too.

Anonymous said...

I saw the first run of Stumptown Grease and re-visited the remount this past weekend. Some nice new touches. It was hard to watch some of the new characters (not because of performance)... it's a reunion right? Well no older person I know does a back flip and make it look so easy without some sort of injury. Nice touch but.... and what happened with the original Sonny? You have your band singer from the last show playing Sonny and being a part of the band. Didn't work for me, but maybe the new audiences will enjoy it. Don't get me wrong the characters did a fine job and this production is well worth seeing. Unfortunate that the house was half full, but the performers gave us a great performance.

Anonymous said...

add to that list the brainiac, the jock, the show off. and what about the teachers? the great ones, the creepy ones, the drunk ones, the gay ones.
and remember that secret place you used to have sex on school grounds?
and the crushes, oh my god, the crushes.
there was one girl in math class that was so hot i couldn't even think. thank god for calcualtors!
no need to over analyze Grease, it's fun, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

I agree! The concept really doesn't work any more. And the energy of the new guys was some times over the top. Distracting at times. The age jokes not effective anymore. Should have let someone else sing 'Hand Jive'.
But the older cast members are still going strong. Great timing and wonderful vocals. The new Jan (Donna S.) and Roger (James P.) are so cute together and their song was great.
Teen Angel (Andrew F.) is still as smooth as ever. And Rizzo (Lisa marie H.) will rip your heart out.
Also enjoyed the understudy for Sandy (Carie). Enjoyable performance. Still a fun show and hopefully the houses will get bigger.

Maryann said...

I agree with the last comment about the singer for Hand Jive.... What? Couldn't find one performer in the Portland area to come in and sing that number? Hmmmmm
I saw your first go at Grease, that was great. The original cast still does an outstanding job and some of the new cast members have fit right into the mold. On a very high note.... GREASE LIGHTING WAS FANTASTICK!!! LOVE THE CAR. If you haven't seen the show it's well worth a night out.

Sara & Josh said...

Saw the show on Friday - Carrie was hot and too young looking to be an older Sandy, but job done well. Joey "Sonny" was too distracting and didn't seem in control. He too is too young for the concept as was your Kenickie and Marty characters. It was mentioned to me that it was an REUNION concept......I didn't see that consistentcy. Overall the show is done well and was entertaining. If you get a chance to see it - check it out.

Kyle said...

Too young, too old, too distractive, too who cares? GO see the show, have some wine and a few laughs. I'm going back in June and can't wait to see the talented performers - one better than another? No. Everyone has a strong presence. Some just have a better number or some don't sing at all and still shine. Most important for you readers who aren't sure what to expect... LAUGHTER!

Anonymous said...

Why in the world does this show have everyone talking???? 81 followspot comments.......... why why why? Guess I better get my ticket and find out what all the hype is. So many mixed comments, but I trust what followspot said so I will be in your audience on Saturday... entertain me. :)

A true AARP holder said...

I traveled from out of town to show support to a particular cast member and I am grateful to have had the opprotunity to be in on the fun. Talent all around. Lisamarie Harrison's rendition of "Worse Things I Can Do" will leave you in awe and feeling for her character. Andrew Foster's Teen Angel number is amazing. Other numbers in the show were also well done. These were the two that really knocked my socks off. Funny characters, the true HS characters of my day, I could relate with each of you on some level. I keep seeing the mention of cast members being to young - For those who have not seen the show yet, if you do attend - and I am sure the cast would appreciate a fuller audience, go with the idea of your HS years and let go of the age barrier. I mean who wants to look at "older" chicks when you have the current Pink Ladies to look at? Pink Ladies are great, Danny and the guys (tbirds or burger boys?) are a crack up. Good Job Greasers - And thank you my friend for this site info. I will refer to this site from here on out for reviews....no more Willamette Week

Anonymous said...

WOW! We loved the show. Your opening was fun and involving. Danny & Sandy did fantastick.... Who says Grease is for the young.... young at heart that's for sure. We enjoyed every moment. Teen-Angel, Kenickie, the duet with Roger and Jan was sweet, Marty, Rizzo and did I mention Danny and Sandy? Way to go!

L.Hagerty said...

This cast of Grease has much talent but poorly directed. It lacked much energy between numbers. Very strong talented performers but this production doesn't show case any of them. A number of you are "Leading" and "Award" winning performers and your talent could be better used. The individiual solo numbers were very well performed. It is obvious the cast is having fun, but as a audience member I had fun in "spurts".

Anonymous said...

Of course we are one of the many who waited to go see this production, but we had such a great time. The audience I was a part of last night had just as much fun as the performers. Just great fun. Thank you Stumptown and Greasers for a wonderful night out. Outstanding!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I saw it last night and the audience was crazy. Everyone seemed to be having fun. Kudos to the great crew and the awesome cast. I highly recommend this show. I saw that it closes in two weeks. I hope I can get tickets to see it again.

Jerry said...

Just too many funny scenes. Loved it! Saw this show on Saturday and It was alive. Danny was terrific with his long drawn out vocals. Sandy belts a number (ie: the end)like nobody's business. Wow! Teen-Angel,Marty OH MY - now there's vocals and looks to go with them. The other soloists and performers also are to be commended as they all did an outstanding job. Sad we can't go see it again, but will pass the word on. Definatley fun fun fun. Ms. Lynch looked like my high school math teacher..... spooked me. Definatley fun fun fun

Anonymous said...

Took some friends to see this show last Friday night. We saw it in its first run and loved it. It doesn't work as well now. I don't think it's a lack of energy, because everybody's still got energy. But casting the young people totally changes the feel of the show and wrecks a lot of it, in my opinion. The reason we came back was because we loved the "reunion" concept so much. Now there are 20-somethings running, jumping and doing gymnastics on the stage. Did the director feel like his older cast members weren't sexy enough to attract audiences? Well, the house was smaller than it was two months ago when we saw it. If some of the actors chose to bow out, or if the director wanted to replace them, he should have found more actors who were the right age for the reunion idea. Now it's just confusing.
Strong singing by the leads, the band sounds hot. Dancing is okay but the younger people act like they're trying to steal the show with over-energetic dance moves. Take it down a notch -- this was a great ensemble cast before. Now it's people who look too old for their roles because they are performing with people who are so young they don't fit the production. It doesn't jel like it did before.

Lee R. said...

I just went to see this re-mount show last night and have to say I was not sold on the 30 year reunion concept. If I was to do a back flip today at the ripe age of 50, I would be feeling it. The opening number is very poorly staged, a few of the performers are lost behind a very slow moving curtain. Individual music numbers were outstanding. Stumptown had a good thing going with the first run, how unfortunate to have it pulled down due "age".... come on Stumptown, be consistent and strong.

Jane Doe - loved the show said...

Hilarious! I don't see what the director was thinking when he made it a 30-yr reunion. I was a little lost at times with that concept, but enjoyed the show regardless. The slumber party scene was a real treat - good solid performances by the Pink Ladies and a nice surprise to hear Marty's vocals as I am a fan of the movie and Marty didn't get a song. Rizzo scares me, I wouldn't mess with her. I think I would want to hang out with Frenchie and Jan. Again, just a good solid performance from the gals. All the guys but one did an excellent - comical job. The character of Sonny seemes to be too over the top and someone confused as to being the clown or being (?) when other characters tease him. It really was something that distracted me. Nice job overall, had fun.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last few entries that the 30 year reunion concept didn't work here. However, when I paid my $27 to see this show, I was looking only to be entertained, and that I was! The show has a few slow moments here and there but for the most part I was having a blast! You could tell that the cast was having a blast as well. There were even some absolutely stellar performances and cameos that blew me away! I enjoyed the show, I really did. No need to ridiclue the show for lack of a working concept. It's Grease, not Chekov.

tagger said...

overheard in the lobby:
jan is adorable.
***
i want to marry the teen angel.
***
that guy was born to play danny zuko.
***
the baton twirling scene was a scream. my face hurts from laughing.
***
***
when i went on saturday, the house was nearly full. only two performances left!

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI to those who think the new cast members are a bit too young - they're probably older than you think! ...signed, an "insider".

Anonymous said...

I saw this show again on Saturday and loved it. The house was packed and we even saw the guy from American Idol in the lobby - the Oregon guy who auditioned in Seattle and made it to Hollywood.

Anyways, my only beef with this show is the fact that Margie Boule only sings in 1 song in the first half of the show, in "Summer Nights." That's not Stumptown's fault though, I believe the show is scripted that way.

I have to say that with Floyd Collins, Reefer Madness, and Grease, Stumptown Stages is quickly becoming one of the best companies in town. I can't wait to see their production of Dreamgirls.

Anonymous said...

A group of us saw this show at IfCC and now at WTC - Better fit for IFCC. In reading the opinions on the age concept and the most recent post that we should just go to be entertained...Agree. However, the concept is presented to us long before the curtain ever opens thus the expectation to see older cast members. And okay, so some of the cast members may be older than we think that isn't the point... some DON'T look right for the part based on the concept the director was TRYING to sell. I do agree the show is fun and entertaining and that really is the bottom line, but I had to put my two cents in on the age factor with this "REUNION CONCEPT". The ensemble cast each had their own strengths. No weak links from the show (shows) I saw.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine proposed going to see Grease on the weekend, as it was his birthday, and we had offered to take him out. I must admit that I felt somewhat apprehensive initially about the 'reunion' concept. Some of the reviews I'd found were very good, others such as the Willamette Weekly less so.

However, as soon as the show started, any criticism about the age of the performers was proven wrong. The irony shone through clearly, and I found the show to be incredibly funny. My two male companions, "Fred" and "Dilbert" as their reunion name tags said, also had a great time.

As for the supposed lack of 'sex-appeal' of an older Danny, which the WW wrote about, I completely disagreed. Being a 25 year old female, I think I would be a reasonable judge of whether a Danny is still young and attractive enough!

Jerry said...

WE HAD SO MUCH FUN ... THANK YOU PERFORMERS FOR A GRAND EVENING!!

Anonymous said...

dear reader:
if you have not yet seen this show
(or if you'd like to relive the magic)
you have two chances left!
this friday and saturday.
grease is the word.

Anonymous said...

an AMAZING thing happened closing night.
when the audience stood up to give the cast a well deserved ovation, the actors spontaneously stayed on stage and applauded and hugged and danced. no one wanted it to end.