‘Grease’ blazes at the Saville


Cast members of the musical “Grease” sing and dance to multiple songs on opening night April 10. The musical will run until April 26 at the Saville Theatre. Photo credit: Torrey Spoerer

Holly Bridges

There was a streak of musical magic on opening night of the production “Grease” at the San Diego City College Saville Theatre. Directed by June E. Richards, the show started off with wonderful sound and a bright and colorful scene right off the top with all 35 actors on stage wearing ’50s style clothing. All of them singing and swaying to the song “Rydell High Alma Mater.”

It was fun thinking back to the movie and smiling along with the performers to the familiarity of the song and enjoyable listening to how crisp and clean the live four-man-band ensemble sounded, three men and one woman on drums.

“OK, Grease is so iconic. I think it’s a marvelous show for City College. It provides different memories for everyone,” Richards said.

Choreographed by Alicia Rincon, the play was fast-moving. Made up of 19 musical numbers including “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “We Go Together” and a parody or two, with a lot of dancing, delivering the teenage romance story of Danny Zuko and school new girl, Sandy Dumbrowski and their crews. But this rendition had a little too much of the two-step in it which made it a little goofy and nerdy with its repeated

The over-sized black leather jacket Zuko, played by Aaron Lugo, was wearing, probably contributed to the nerdy feel and look of the cast and was the show’s biggest flaw.

However, the music was awesome. Aubrey Award winner Michael Farley is the City College music director. He and the other band members really made this show great in this intimate theater. Farley conducted the band and played keyboard during the show.

Attendee Miguel Portillo saw the show’s advertisement on the school website and asked his girlfriend Julia Dapcevic, who is a “Grease” fan if she wanted to go. As a non-Grease fan Portillo really liked it.

“It’s really good and Broadway-esque. Above my expectations. I definitely recommend it,” Potillo said.

Dapcevic said she was impressed. When asked who her favorite character was, she said, “I think the character playing the tough girl, Rizzo, was real good, did great acting and singing. ‘Beauty School Drop Out’ song was humorous and fun.”

“All Choked Up” was sassy and playful and brought out good, funny expressions by Danny’ as he finally showed personality and had a decent voice in this skit. His counter-part, a brunette Sandy, played by Janessa Herrera, had spunk, but she and Danny didn’t seem to have much chemistry.

Yasmin Ruiz, who played the role of Frenchie, is in her second semester as a theatre major and did a great job with the acting and wonderful squeaky voice.

“I just take it an octave higher and I put in a little baby voice and an 8.4 ounce can of Red Bull gets me extra hyped-up,” Ruiz commented.

Dante Finch played the part of Roger and hit a couple of nice-sounding high notes in the Mooning song. Finch is a dance major and will be a choreographer and dancer in the school’s next event, “City Moves” that starts about a week after “Grease” ends.

About a hundred people put the show together counting the 35 cast members, staff technicians, costumes and makeup people. And they all did a superb job, minus the poor jacket selection and baggy jeans for Danny.

“Grease” will continue to run each Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. through April 26. Admission is $10.