Musical Theatre West (MTW) is excited to announce the return of one of the world’s most popular musicals, Grease, to its stage this summer! Fifty years after the original show hit Broadway, MTW’s 2022 production of Grease will tell the classic love story of Danny and Sandy, featuring a talented cast that reflects the diversity of a typical Long Beach high school. This highly anticipated show will preview July 8, with a sizzlin’ summer sock-hop planned for Opening Night, July 9. It runs for select dates through July 24 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of Cal State Long Beach. Tickets range from $20 – $96 each and are available by phone at 562-856-1999 or online at musical.org.
The contemporary cast includes RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 star Darius Rose, aka Jackie Cox in the fabulous featured role of Teen Angel! The rest of Rydell High’s senior class of 1959 will represent the welcoming, melting-pot community of Long Beach. This talented ensemble was carefully selected during Musical Theatre West’s first in-person auditions in over two years, during which the organization saw 350 live auditioners and received over 500 video submissions.
“One of the exciting prospects in choosing this show three years ago was to model our ‘Rydell High’ after Wilson High School across from our offices in Long Beach,” shared Paul Garman, Executive Director of Musical Theatre West. Garman shared that MTW had collaborated with Wilson High School for many years on their musical productions and was struck by the diversity represented in their student body. “We knew our production of Grease should mirror our community in the same way.”
MTW is excited to bring fresh faces to the iconic 50’s tale of teen angst with a cast and creative team that highlight the progress in theatre since the show-stoppin’, sock-hoppin’ musical first premiered 50 years ago. The show will feature all the usual fan favorites, from duck-tailed, hot-rodding “Burger Palace Boys” and gum-snapping, hip-shaking “Pink Ladies,” to head “greaser” Danny Zuko and good-girl Sandy Dumbrowski as they try to relive the high romance of their “Summer Nights.” Chock-full of big dance numbers like “Born to Hand-Jive” and classic songs like “Greased Lightnin’,” “It’s Raining on Prom Night,” and “Sandy,” Grease celebrates the music that became the soundtrack of a generation.
This exciting production will be helmed by Snehal Desai, who joins the team fresh from directing East West Players’ critically acclaimed production of Assassins at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles. Musical Direction will be provided by Jan Roper, whose musical América Tropical was a winner in the Raise Your Voice Playwright Competition for diversity and inclusion. Rounding out the team is multi-talented choreographer Corey Wright, who recently directed and choreographed Pippin at UCLA.
“We hope every young person who attends will see themselves represented on our stage and be inspired to perhaps dream of a career in theatre,” Garman added. “We look forward to welcoming all generations and walks of life to join us for a summer performance like never before.”
The Long Beach premiere of Grease will kick off summer on select dates, July 8 – July 24, 2022. Tickets are currently priced at $20 – $96, available for purchase by phone at 562-856-1999 or online at musical.org. Fees may apply. Not recommended for children under 14. More information, a full line-up of performances, and additional details can be found at https://musical.org.