LEWISTON — You have to wonder where they all might be today. Just imagine the 50th reunion of the Rydell High School Class of 1959.

Maybe someday that will become a fun-filled sequel to the super popular “Grease,” but for now you can relive those teenage years with Danny, Sandy, Rizzo, Kenicki and all the others in the excellent Community Little Theatre production of the musical now playing at Lewiston Middle School auditorium.

An outstanding cast of young performers has captured the essence of the unique ’50s culture. The high-energy dances make no compromise to degree of difficulty, and the depth of vocal and dramatic talent is a delight.

Director Dick Martin deserves credit for assuring honest depiction of that complex period of U.S. history, with an appropriate dose of satire.

The supporting cast members in CLT‘s “Grease” make this show really shine. In scene after scene, these actors bring something extra to the play.

“Those Magic Nights,” an early number by 15-year-old Andreas Wyder as Doody, signals the quality of the performances to come. It’s also a great introduction to the important contribution of the entire ensemble.

The tough facade and ultimate vulnerability of Rizzo is portrayed perfectly by Rylee Doiron. Her solo number, “There Are Worse Things I Could Do,” is a powerful highlight of the show. She also gives a great rendition of “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee.”

Carl Zurhorst gives Kenicki a sense of believability in a role that could be a simple “Fonzie” caricature. He and the other Burger Palace Boys present a rousing performance of “Greased Lighting” with a wonderful replica of a red convertible as the centerpiece.

Mary Schomaker’s portrayal of Frenchy also stands out. Her solo number, “Beauty School Dropout,” is one of the show’s exceptional production numbers, and it also benefits from the appearance of Bob Bohren as “Teen Angel.”

“Mooning” is a lesser-known number that gets good comic treatment by Derrick Lacasse as Roger and Sara Noyes as Jan.
Other good performances are turned in by Jordan Richmond as absolutely nerdy Eugene; by Zan Wong as Patty; by Brittany Martin as Marty who sings “Freddy, My Love;” and by James Kramlich as Sonny.

The lead performers are frosting on the cake of that wonderful supporting cast.

Luke Ellis as Danny Zuko and Mary Randall as Sandy Dumbrowski bring that classic 1950s couple to life in this production of “Grease.” Randall does a fine job with “It’s Raining on Prom Night” and Ellis combines a strong voice and good sense of comedy in “Alone at a Drive-In Movie.”

There were a few sound system glitches on opening night. Many in the large cast used wireless microphones. The choice to use amplification seems to be a drawback to one of the signature songs in the show. “Summer Nights” is definitely a stereophonic number in which the lyrics should bounce back and forth between the greasers and the Pink Ladies. The monophonic speakers made that number very difficult to follow.

Lacey Moyse provided excellent choreography for the show. The ensemble’s work on “Born To Hand Jive” is nothing short of spectacular.

Moyse’s appearance as Cha-Cha is also a lot of fun.

WHAT: “Grease”
WHO: Lewiston-Auburn Community Theatre
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21-22; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23
WHERE: air-conditioned Lewiston Middle School Auditorium, 75 Central Ave.


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