Special to 1812Blockhouse

The 2023-2024 Renaissance Season kicks off with a bang with Grease the Musical, the first production of the Park National Bank Broadway Series set to open Saturday, July 29th at 7:30pm with additional performances Sunday, July 30th at 2:30pm, Saturday, August 5th at 8:30pm, and Sunday, August 6th at 2:30pm. This electrifying cast is led by guest artist Zuri Clarno of Columbus making her Renaissance debut as “Sandy” and area favorite Noah Sgambellone starring as “Danny”. Grease is Directed by Renaissance Artistic Director Michael Thomas with Music Direction by Kelly Knowlton and Choreography by Erin Wolford of the Richland Academy of the Arts.

One of the most beloved Broadway shows of all time, Grease tells the story of bad boy “greaser” Danny and the good girl he’s fallen in love with, Sandy. One of the longest-running shows on Broadway and one of the highest-grossing films of all time,  Grease has a hilarious script, incredible dancing, a colorful cast, and a host of hit songs, including Hopelessly Devoted To You, Greased Lightning, You’re the One That I Want, Sandy, We Go Together, Summer Nights and Grease is the Word.

Erin Wolford joins the creative team for Grease for the first time choreographing a Renaissance Broadway production. She shared, “Grease is such an iconic dance musical! From Greased Lightning to the Hand Jive it has moves that everyone knows and loves. I’m excited to put my own spin on it, and get to work with the cast to bring Mansfield something super fun and nostalgic this summer!” 

A musical filled with audience favorite songs, veteran Music Director Kelly Knowlton said, “The cast showed up for the first night of rehearsals sounding great already! You can tell they’re excited to dive into such a fun show. I can’t wait to see how they bring their own flavor to this iconic musical, and the live band should take it over the top!”

Rounding out the cast of talented performers are the “Burger Palace Boys”: Kenickie played by Guest Artist Noah Estep, Zakari Ramos as Doody, Jacob Poiner as Roger, and Guest Artist Jimmy Lancaster as Sonny. The famous “Pink Ladies” are played by returning Renaissance favorites Leah Gesouras as Rizzo, Kristin Kaufman as Jan, Emily Bare as Marty, and Samantha Woodill as Frenchie. Additional roles are played by Jamie Mayfield (Cha Cha), Grayden Pierce (Eugene), Haley Bedocs (Patty), Drew Traxler (Teen Angel), Scott Smith (Vince Fontaine), and Jacque Workman (Miss Lynch). The Ensemble features the talented Madison Kearney, Nate Cress, Kadelyn Becker, Lily Casey, Carter King, Alex Trolian, Milo McDonald, Drew Anderson, Jackie Metz, Andy Roblin, Wyatt Bechstein, Nate Roblin, and Tia Wightman.

Grease the Musical premieres Saturday, July 29th at 7:30pm with additional performances Sunday, July 30th at 2:30pm, Saturday, August 5th at 7:30pm, and Sunday, August 6th at 2:30pm at the Renaissance Theatre, 138 Park Avenue West, Mansfield, OH. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Renaissance box office, by phone at 419-522-2726, or by visiting the Ren’s website: rentickets.org.

Source, Photo: Renaissance Performing Arts Association; Photo: Creative Commons License

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