News Column

'Sing-Along Grease' set for Sept. 12 at Northwest

September 6, 2013

YellowBrix

Sept. 06--You can't explain the continuing popularity of "Grease." It simply remains a huge draw, be it on Blu-Ray, Broadway or at the movie theater.

Maybe it's the catchy music or the performances from John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Or maybe it's the timelessness of its story.

"'Grease' is a story everybody knows. So people that will be singing in the audience will have a really great experience," Angel McAdams Prescott, director of campus activities for Northwest Missouri State University, says.

You read that right -- people will be encouraged to sing, quote along and dance to the 1978 classic musical as part of Northwest Missouri State University's "Sing-Along Grease" at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

The "Grease" event kicks off Northwest's arts season, which will include the Native American-themed "Lakota Sioux Dance Theatre," the Broadway musical "Rock of Ages" and the silent-film-based "The Hot Club of San Francisco presents Cinema Vivant."

While each is a fun, eclectic and adventurous arts venture, it makes sense for the arts season to aim for everyone.

"This is a show that everybody knows. Everybody knows Danny and Sandy and the idea of this new experience where the audience is part of the experience," McAdams says.

A "Sing-Along Grease," much like a "G.I. Joe" PSA, means knowing is half the battle. You can know all about those summer nights Sandy and Danny had or who was originally supposed to sing "Greased Lightning" (Kenickie, for those who didn't know). But can you do the hand jive or use the props each audience member will be given? That's the important question.

"The audience is part of the show. Audience members are encouraged to dress up and to get into to costume," McAdams says. "It's very interactive, and it just seems like a no-brainer when you're thinking about bringing something high energy and a great way to kick off our season with a lot of fun."

People in Maryville already are thrilled to see the movie on the big screen again.

"I've actually heard of a group of women here in our community who are getting Pink Lady jackets to wear to the event. They're really getting into the spirit of things," McAdams says.

So why does McAdams think "Grease" is timeless? She says there's a beauty in its simple storytelling that still resonates today.

"It's about young love and there's so many stories about ... love that's not supposed to happen -- a boy from the wrong side of the tracks with the pure and innocent girl and how could they ever have anything in common? How could they fall in love?" she says. "Love is timeless and everyone loves a good love story."

Andrew Gaug can be reached at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPGaug.

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(c)2013 the St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.)

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