A review of the Ransomed class’ sophomore musical production

By Rachel Terry
Contributing Writer

Gobs of stage makeup, halos of hairspray and hours of rehearsal went into the Ransomed class production of “Grease,” which ran from Jan. 23 to 25. The sophomores had a successful run, and tickets for the show were completely sold out in 24 hours.

In order to make this musical appropriate for all audiences and ages, many modifications were made to the storyline and script. However, being one of the few college-aged people who have never had the potential privilege or misfortune of seeing the original “Grease,” I was able to see the Ransomed class’ interpretation of this catchy classic without the looming weight of comparison. I evaluated and enjoyed the musical without being critical of the many changes that were made. 

“I do like the changes made to the show,” said Fairynne Mathison, who played the female lead, Sandy Dumbrowski. “I love that families can come [to see the play] and not worry about anything being inappropriate for their kids.”

I found the show to be innocent, fun and extremely entertaining. An unintentional but well-covered incident with the car’s headlights on Friday night and intentional comedic elements in the play made “Grease” truly enjoyable. The actors and actresses were able to roll with the small mistakes that occurred and made them seem natural and non-intrusive. 

The strong acting abilities of many Ransomed class members were what truly brought this musical to life. Mathison’s talent as a singer shone as she emotively drew the audience into the life of Sandy during both “Summer Nights” and “It’s Raining on Prom Night.” 

Supporting actress Abigail Foster definitely portrayed the tough yet femine Pink Lady, Marty, with her song “Freddy My Love” during the pajama party scene. Meredith Anderson did an excellent job as the slightly naive “beauty school dropout” Frenchy. Even the over-bubbly Patty Simcox, played by Ellen Packer, was an entertaining role in the musical, always popping up in situations where she was not always welcome.

Supporting actor Jesse Brake appeared completely immersed in his role of Roger, or “Moonpie,” through his easygoing dancing and singing abilities. Andrew Seales also added to the hilarity of the play through his role as nerdy outcast Eugene Florcyzk.

The male lead, Danny Zuko, played by Austin Howard, cleverly engaged the audience with his odd and slightly cruel treatment of Sandy as he tried to maintain status among his leather-clad friends while deciphering his feelings for her. His talent as a singer became clear during the songs “Summer Nights” and “Sandy.”

“I’d have to say that my biggest accomplishment [during “Grease”] was getting my hair to stay down,” said Howard. He went on to mention that this was not actually his accomplishment but rather Melynda Malley’s, as she worked on hair and makeup. 

Howard added, “I also had a few people tell me that I reminded them of John Travolta, so I consider that a pretty big accomplishment, too.”

When asked about her participation in Grease, Mathison said, “My favorite part was definitely the community. I was friends with a lot of the cast before ‘Grease,’ but it was so great to get to know new people and solidify friendships that I already had.”

Everyone who participated in “Grease,” including the stage crew, ensemble members, supporting actors and lead actors displayed their class spirit and made their enjoyment clear to the audience.