Broadway San Jose: Grease is the word

The film version of Grease produced one of the best-selling soundtracks in history and is the highest-grossing movie musical of all time.

Brad Lawson as
Brad Lawson as "Roger," Marc Winski as "Doody," Patrick Cragin as "Kenickie," Patrick Joyce as "Sonny," and Matt Nolan as "Danny" perform the number “Greased Lightnin’” in GREASE, coming to Broadway San Jose.
Brad Lawson as "Roger," Marc Winski as "Doody," Patrick Cragin as "Kenickie," Patrick Joyce as "Sonny," and Matt Nolan as "Danny" perform the number “Greased Lightnin’” in GREASE, coming to Broadway San Jose.
Brad Lawson as "Roger," Marc Winski as "Doody," Patrick Cragin as "Kenickie," Patrick Joyce as "Sonny," and Matt Nolan as "Danny" perform the number “Greased Lightnin’” in GREASE, coming to Broadway San Jose.

Broadway San Jose announced that the 2010-2011 national tour of the new Broadway production of Grease will open at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts on January 18, 2011.

After spending a hopelessly devoted summer with Sandy Dumbrowski, the new girl in town, Danny Zuko’s world is thrown upside down when Sandy appears at Rydell High on the first day of school. What follows is a rock n’ roll celebration of growin’ up, cruisin’ with friends and goin’ steady.

The new production of Grease features songs from the smash hit 1978 motion picture, including “Sandy,” the Academy Award nominated song “Hopelessly Devoted to You,”  “Grease” and “You’re the One That I Want” – the latter two of which were #1 hits on the Billboard Top 100 list. These songs will be heard in addition to the Jacobs/Casey songs made famous by the original stage production such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’” and “We Go Together.”

Eddie Mekka will star in the tour as DJ “Vince Fontaine.”  Eddie is best remembered as Carmine Ragusa on the hit TV classic, “Laverne & Shirley.”  The role of Carmine led to many guest appearances on television from “24,” “Crossing Jordan,” “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” “Rockford Files,” to “The Big Easy,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Family Matters,” “Guiding Light,” “Bold and Beautiful,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” opposite Danny DeVito. Other credits include Detective Murdoch in the Fox TV movie “Catch Me if You Can,” the “Mulberry Street” series with Connie Sellecca, and “Blansky’s Beauties” with Nancy Walker, Scott Baio and more. Eddie has appeared in the moviesBeaches, A League of Their Own as Madonna’s boyfriend, On Top of the World, Stand Up, Love Made Easy, and Dream Girls.

On Broadway, he was nominated as Best Actor for The Lieutenant (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), along with Joel Grey, Robert Preston, Raul Julia and John Cullum. Eddie also appeared in Jumpers, The Magic Show and the one man show My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy (Off-Broadway). His touring credits include Damn Yankees with Ray Walston and Gwen Verdon, Fiddler on the Roof (most recently with Sally Struthers), Grease with Cindy Williams, The Goodbye Girl, and Hairspray in Las Vegas.

Alyssa Herrera will star as “Sandy” and Matt Nolan will star as “Danny.”  Alyssa is a recent graduate of Wagner College.  Her favorite roles include parts in High School Musical and Little Women.  Matt was a finalist on NBC’s Grease: You’re the One That I Want. He recently appeared in the national tour of Hairspray.

The tour also stars Patrick Cragin as “Kenickie,” Chris Duir as “Eugene,” Audrey Filson as “Patty Simcox,”  Kelly Teal Goyette as “Miss Lynch,” Patrick Joyce as “Sonny,” Alicia Kelly as “Marty,” Brad Lawson as “Roger,” Ashley Rubin as “Frenchy,” Lauren Elaine Taylor as Rizzo, Lauren Turner as “Jan,” and Marc Winski as “Doody.”

Grease originated in Chicago and made its premiere at The Kingston Mines Theater in 1971 before making its New York premiere off-Broadway at the Eden Theatre on February 14, 1972. After 128 sold-out performances, the show made the transition to Broadway taking up residence at the Broadhurst Theatre on June 7, 1972. Grease was nominated for seven Tony Awards in its spectacular initial run. On November 21, 1972, the show moved to the Royale Theatre before making its final transfer on January 20, 1980 to the Majestic Theatre. It closed as the longest running show in Broadway history after playing 3,388 performances.

In 1978, Grease became a hugely popular feature film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the lead roles. A Broadway revival opened on May 11, 1994 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre where it played 1,503 performances and won three Tony Award nominations. The new Broadway production of Grease opened on August 19, 2007 and was nominated for a 2008 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

Matt Nolan as "Danny" and Alyssa Herrera as "Sandy" (center), and the company of Grease, perform the finale of GREASE, coming to  Broadway San Jose.
Matt Nolan as "Danny" and Alyssa Herrera as "Sandy" (center), and the company of Grease, perform the finale of GREASE, coming to Broadway San Jose.

The film version of Grease produced one of the best-selling soundtracks in history and is the highest-grossing movie musical of all time. The two Travolta/Newton-John duets, “You’re The One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” were both #1 hits. The song “Hopelessly Devoted to You” was nominated for an Academy Award (1979) for Best Music – Original Song and the film’s title song, “Grease,” was a #1 smash hit single for singer Frankie Valli.

Grease features book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.  Additional songs from the film are by Barry Gibb, John Farrar, Louis St. Louis and Scott Simon.

Directed by David John O’Brien and choreographed by Joyce Chittick, the 2010 – 2011 national tour of Grease features scenic design by Tony Award winner Derek McLane, costume design by Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner and sound design by Peter McBoyle.

GREASE by Broadway San Jose

After spending a hopelessly devoted summer with Sandy Dumbrowski, the new girl in town, Danny Zuko’s world is thrown upside down when Sandy appears at Rydell High on the first day of school. What follows is a rock n’ roll celebration of growin’ up, cruisin’ with friends and goin’ steady.

WHEN:

January 18-23, 2011

SHOWS:

7:30 pm Tuesday – Thursday
8pm Friday
2pm and 8pm Saturday
1pm and 6pm Sunday

WHERE:

San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
255 Almaden Blvd, San Jose

TICKETS:

Single tickets ($20-$79) can be purchased by calling (408) 792-4111 or visiting www.sjtix.com.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus

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