Grease production extends before it opens

Jul 22, 2011
Olney Theatre Center

Those summer nights are going to last just a little longer as Olney Theatre Center extends its production of Grease before it even opens. Bobby Smith returns to direct what can be called the original high school musical.

It's 1958. Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko spend their summer days at the beach, and their summer nights falling in love. They don't expect to see each other again. When Sandy transfers to Rydell High, she's surprised to find Danny isn't exactly the guy with whom she fell in love. With Rizzo and the Pink Ladies coaching the wholesome Sandy, and Kenickie and the other Burger Palace Boys razzing Danny, who knows if true love will prevail.

Grease was first staged at the Kingston Mines Theatre in Chicago in 1971- forty years ago. The co-creators, Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, were friends for seven years before they collaborated on the project. It was over a beer at a party when the idea first struck. Reacting against the "traditional" musical melodies, Jacobs and Casey amused themselves by imagining a new kind of Broadway, with music from the late 1950s, and characters from the golden days of rock 'n' roll. Little did they know that their songs would become classics (and karaoke favorites): "Summer Nights," "We Go Together," "Greased Lightnin"....

Grease made its Broadway debut in June 1972, and ran for 3,388 performances and 20 previews. Two subsequent Broadway revivals were mounted in 1994 and 2007. The hit film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John proved to be the highest-grossing movie musical to this date.

Grease will now play the Mainstage July 27 through August 28. There is a Pay What You Can performance on July 26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $26 to $54, with discounts available to groups, seniors, military, and students. Call the Box Office at 301.924.3400 or visit for tickets and information. In addition, Olney offers several special performances that include sign interpretation, audio description, and post-show discussions.