Pioneer Theatre Company presents a rollicking evening of nostalgic fun with the classic ’50s musical “Grease,” running May 10-25, 2019, to close its 2018-2019 season.
Danny and Sandy, the Pink Ladies and the Burger Palace Boys dance their way through their senior year at Rydell High, singing the songs that have become the soundtrack for generations of teenagers, including “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin” and “You’re the One That I Want.”
“We make can make fun of the nostalgia that shows like ‘Grease’ evokes,” says Artistic Director Karen Azenberg. “Or we can smile and remember the kinder, gentler, more innocent time that was the 1950s in America. With this production, I am choosing to smile and recall the saddle shoes and slicked back hair, when photos were black and white, and when the most important item on a high school student’s agenda was if they had a date for the dance.”
Pascal Pastrana and Emma Hearn play Danny and Sandy, respectively, in their debuts at PTC. Pastrana’s credits include performing in New York City at the Birdland Theater for “Simply Barbra and Down-N-Dirty Disco.” Hearn has performed in “Broadway Dreams and A Chorus Line” (Texas State University).
David Park plays Kenickie while Alex Kidder is Pink Lady Betty Rizzo. Park has appeared in the film “Glass” (directed by M. Night Shyamalan) and the television series “Elementary.” Kidder has appeared Off-Broadway in “A Dog Story,” as well as “My Fair Lady,” “The Marvelous Wonderettes” and “Ragtime,” among many others.
Lucy Anders, Kate Cassidy Ryan and Jaymie Inouye play the remaining Pink Ladies, Marty, Jen and Frenchy, respectively.
Anders returns after “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” She has also appeared in “Something Rotten!” (First National Tour) and off-Broadway in “Baby.” Ryan most recently appeared in the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” Inouye finishes up her senior year in BYU’s BFA Music, Dance, Theatre program and appeared in “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and “Tuck Everlasting” at Hale Center Theatre.
Michael Schimmele, Pepe Nufrio and Cameron Holzman play the Burger Palace Boys, Roger, Doody and Sonny LaTierri.
Schimmele appeared in the off-Broadway musical “The View Upstairs” and in regional productions “In the Heights,” “Peter Pan,” “Mary Poppins” and “Spamalot” to name a few. Nufrio has performed in New York and regional credits include “From Here To Eternity” (Finger Lakes), “Evita” (St. Louis Rep), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Aladdin” (Fulton Theatre). Holzman is a junior at the University of Utah and appeared in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at PTC.
Dave Anthony Vogel plays Johnny Casino/Teen Angel and has performed on Broadway in “Chicago” as well as its National Tour. David Guy Holmes is Vince Fontaine, and has appeared in several PTC productions including this past season’s “La Cage aux Folles”—Concert Production.
Ashley Marinelli plays Cha-Cha. Marinelli has performed with Justin Beiber, Mariah Carey, Ne-Yo, Lady Sovereign and Shakira as well as in “An American in Paris” for Ogunquit Playhouse, among many others. Elizabeth Hansen is Miss Lynch. She has performed on Broadway in “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine” and “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” and on National Tours in “Hello, Dolly!” with Carol Channing and in “The King & I” with Rudolf Nureyev.
Lindsie Kongsore and Kevin Dort are Patty Simcox and Eugene Florczyk. Kongsore finishes her senior year in the ATP program at the University of Utah. Dort has performed in the second National Tour of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
Patrick Ryan Castle, Serena Kozusko, Mary C. Nikols and Call Vande Beegaete complete the ensemble.
Azenberg directs and choreographs this production fresh on the heels of “La Cage aux Folles.” She also directed this past season’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and “Oslo.”
Lenny Daniel associate directs and choreographs this production. He recently assisted on PTC’s “La Cage aux Folles”—Concert Production. He also appeared in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” this past season at Pioneer Theatre Company.
Helen Gregory returns for her 12th production for the PTC and was last seen musical directing “La Cage Aux Folles”—Concert Production.
Scenic designer James Noone returns after 2016’s “Cowgirls” at Pioneer Theatre Company. His work has been seen on television for “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Candide,” “Passion,” “Camelot,” Stephen Sondheim’s 80th Birthday Concert for PBS and “Company,” seen in select movie theaters and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar” and “Grill” for HBO.
Patrick Holt is the costume designer and returns after this season’s “La Cage aux Folles”Concert Production. His work has been seen at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, HBO, CBS, A& E Network among others. Also known as Tempest Dujour, Holt appeared on season seven of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and in the recent film “Cherry Pop.”
Lighting designer Jax Messenger returns to PTC after last season’s “i.” He has lit for numerous companies, including the Philadelphia Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Bard Summerscape, the Washington Ballet and the San Francisco Opera.
Hair and makeup designer is Amanda French and sound design is by PTC resident sound designer Allan Branson.