Fun “Tribute to Grease 2” at The Boom

Anna Holloway Modified: August 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm •  Published: August 23, 2013

Theatre is not always about high art or changing lives—good theatre is also about having fun. Brett Young’s “A Tribute to Grease 2” playing at The Boom through August 31 is high camp and lots of fun. Those who are (mercifully) unfamiliar with 1982 the film will enjoy the show for its self-aware mockery, and those devoted to the oddly bad movie can rest assured that director and script editor Young has created a spoof that is not a distortion.

Derived from the film, the script is part tribute and part parody, and Young has produced a romping show that is campy and engaging. The show features solid local talent; Jennifer Wells shines as self-empowered Stephanie, Paul Mitchell sparkles as the love-struck Michael, and Rodney Brazil gives us a brash but ultimately teachable Johnny. Other standout performances include Scotty Taylor, Jessica Carabajal, and Cory King, all of whom play multiple roles. There are several “cameos” and the audience is invited to sing along.

Based on a notoriously bad film (which achieved almost cult status because of its poor quality), the staged version is refreshingly and knowingly funny. The Boom’s stage is a very tight space, and Young’s direction and his talented cast give us the story in episodes that string together relatively well. Prize numbers like “Reproduction” receive excellent treatment, but this is not merely a “copy” of the film. There will be surprises for those who know.

This is not theatre without a message: While the plot mirrors the original, simply reversing the gender poles creates a feminist undertone that is also interesting. In the course of the show, several guys get lessons in respecting a woman’s right to choose—who she will love, when she will love, even how she will dress! The production does include some “inappropriate” songs, and it’s staged in the cabaret room at the Boom which includes the bar. No one under 21 can attend (sadly!).

The food is excellent, and the restaurant is back to its customary full menu. Arrive early enough to buy dinner; service is available throughout the show, which runs about 90 minutes without intermission.

Thursday-Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. through August 31 at The Boom, “A Tribute to Grease 2” is a Next Stage production. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased on line at www.whatisthenextstage.com. For more information, call (405) 367-3774.

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