I just came back from Auburn in Upstate New York doing a little show you might have heard of… Grease! I cannot stress how freeing this experience was for me. One thing I loved about our production was how diverse it was. It truly reflects the world we live in today. Tokenism (casting 1 POC for the sake of ‘filling a quota’) was not a thing in our show. To tell you the truth, the most freeing thing of all was being able to play a character or be in a show that didn’t have the phrase “must be Asian” attached to the character description. That was the ultimate highlight for me. The character I played was Patty Simcox, the girl whose heart was in the right place but was way too enthusiastic for the Pink Ladies.
Our show was very similar to the movie version. We included all the hit songs we grew up hearing. However, Grease as a story is still very outdated with pretty sexist themes. 2 things our director, Igor, tweaked in this production was that Danny changed with Sandy in “You’re The One That I Want.” So on top of Sandy ‘changing’ her image for Danny, Danny did the same by wearing a button down shirt and tie to meet Sandy half way. Another thing I loved is that Igor made decision to have Sandy sing her reprise to Rizzo (the one where she realizes she needs help to change her image). Because the 2 ladies butted heads throughout the whole show, to see 2 women come together in a time of vulnerability was immensely empowering. Our Teen Angel was also an African American Drag Queen (!!!). I wish you guys could’ve seen our production!
Here are some production shots I would love to share with you. These pictures are taken by Ron Heerkens Jr Photography. This is the 2019 production of Grease at Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival/Merry Go Round Playhouse.
2 I Love This! ♡