All reviews are written by Cappies student critics and edited by Cappies adult mentors prior to publishing.
Flaunt those poodle skirts, snap on that leather jacket, and throw your mittens around your kittens, because Grease is the word in Albert Einstein High School’s delightfully entertaining production of the hit musical.
Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey in 1971, Grease took generations by storm with its infectious rock n’ roll rhythms and depiction of adolescent angst. Its 3,388 performance Broadway premiere run in 1972 remains the fourteenth-longest in history, and its 1978 film adaptation, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, one of the most iconic movies of all time. The story begins with good-girl Sandy Dumbrowski and greaser Danny Zuko having a short summertime romance, only to surprisingly meet again when school resumes at Rydell High School. Worried about maintaining his bad-boy reputation, Danny initially tries to brush off Sandy, who struggles to fit into a new school environment. Along with other Pink Ladies and Greasers, the two teens navigate the confusing world of high school, filled with peer pressure, love, and friendship.
Overall, the actors seemed to effectively capture the humor and character voices traditionally associated with the show’s unique time and setting. The large cast, displaying excellent stage presence, excelled during the synchronized choreography, especially during the big dance numbers.
Bringing an enjoyable swagger and impressive vocal skills to the role of Danny Zuko, Eric Teran truly showed that he was a triple-threat actor. Hitting high notes in a pleasant falsetto, busting a move in many pulse-pounding numbers, and utilizing a high pitched voice at times for comedic effect, Teran showcased a wide range of emotions and talents. Opposite Teran was Abigail Kullberg, who displayed a powerful alto and skillfully portrayed Sandy’s innocent, good-girl persona. She served as a sharp contrast to the rebellious, vivacious Pink Ladies and Greasers.
Though there was strong group cohesion among the ensemble, several actors stood out, including Rebecca Bradley (Rizzo), Lydia Tefera (Frenchy), Carlos Castillo (Roger), and Jassim Conteh (Cha-Cha). Both Bradley and Tefera made consistent, engaging character choices in their ditzy line delivery and interactions, while Castillo’s comedic physicality shone through in the hilarious booty-shaking song, “Mooning.” Conteh’s spicy dancing skills and sassy energy, whether she was flirting with a guy or chewing gum while jiving, were also quite memorable. Although there were some flubbed lines and pitch issues at times, these mistakes did not derail the cast’s dedication and enthusiasm.
Technical aspects in general matched the style and mood of the show, contributing to the fun, upbeat atmosphere. Highlights included the versatile multi-level set, which comprised of a large bridge crossing with stairwells integrated beautifully on both sides of the set. Lighting design encompassed some clever strobe effects and color changes, and despite some microphone feedback and lagging scene changes, the tech crew handled the fast-paced show admirably, hitting cues efficiently.
Few musicals throughout time have captured the quintessential aspects of teenage high school life as memorably as Grease. Catchy and exhilarating, Albert Einstein High School’s riveting production was no exception.