Dance-heavy musical 'Grease' opens June 18 at Lyric Theatre in Brownwood

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
"Grease" cast members are pictured in a Thursday afternoon rehearsal at the Lyric Theatre.

“Dancing and blazing.”

That’s how Lyric Theatre managing director Eric Evans described the Lyric’s upcoming production of the musical “Grease,” which opens Friday, June 18 for a four-run show. under the direction of  Shannon Lee.

“Wait till you see them dance,” Evans said. “It’s a very dance-heavy show for sure. I don’t see how adults could ever do this stuff. I couldn’t be more pleased with what they’re doing."

The cast is comprised mostly high schoolers or recent grads, and a few adults.

“I think one of the cool backstories about this show is, you have kids coming from different schools,” Evans said. “You’ve got home-school kids, you’ve got kids from Bangs, Early, Brownwood, Brookesmith, Blanket. So that to me is a cool little component that we’ve never been able to do.” 

“Grease” first opened as a stage show in 1971 and was released on the big screen in 1978. Evans, who was in high school when “Grease” opened as a movie, recalled being “dragged” by a friend to see it — seven times.

The storyline follows high schoolers at fictional Rydell High School in 1958. The stage show and movie depict coming of age. It is a love story, good-girl-bad-boy, getting together and falling in love,” Evans said. “And we have a car on stage, a 1958 Rambler, I think. Part of the Grease mystique — the leather jacket, the slicked back hair, the poodle skirts and the ruffles, the Pink Ladies — all those things are in there.”

Because of a heavy summer schedule, the Lyric scheduled “Grease” for four shows rather than the usual eight.

“We can only do it one weekend,” Evans said. “We just don’t have the time to squish everything in. We’re actually rehearsing four musicals at one time.”

Evans was referring to upcoming summer performances of “Mama Mia” as well as children’s workshop productions of “Beauty and the Beast” and Jungle Book.”

Tickets are available on the Lyric website, www.brownwoodlyrictheatre.com

The cast includes Jackson Tucker (Danny), Carlee Richardson (Sandy), Kaedon Robertson (Kenickie), Evan Fraze (Doody), Zaiden Lopez (Sonny), Bryan Osbourne (Rger), Kate Yantis (Rizzo), Claire Clayton (French), Lilly Lee (Marty) and Andie Tidwell (Jan).

Additional cast members are Langston Barnes, Layla Weedon, Paul Underwood, April Tassin, Caleb Bostick, James Williams, Ren Yantis and Renee Fraze.