(Above, l.-r.) Jan (Anna Jeffries), Rizzo (Alyson Gannon), Kenicke (Kyle Fisher), Danny (Dylan Fidler), Sandy (Olivia Carr), Frenchy (Ariyonna Thomas) and Marty (Heather Rich) headline the cast of ‘Grease’ through July 30, at the New Tampa Performing Arts Center. (Photos by Charmaine George).

Although there already has been a New Tampa Players (NTP) preview show and a Penguin Productions presentation of “Beauty and the Beast” at the sparkling new New Tampa Performing Arts Center (NTPAC), “Grease” — the first official show of NTP’s 2023-24 season — made its debut at the NTPAC last weekend.

Unfortunately, due to the timing of our issues, we aren’t able to share pictures of actual scenes from ‘Grease” in this issue, but as a minor player in the cast, I am able to share these preview pictures we were able to take of some of the cast members, in their costumes.

I will tell you that, even the week before the cast premiered the 1972 Tony Award-winning musical, that “Grease” is a super-fun show with an awesome cast that you should still be able to check out this weekend — although tickets were already getting a little scarce at our press time.

According to NTP producing artistic director Nora Paine, the six performances of “Grease” over two weekends (July 21-23 and July 28-20) were already nearly 70% sold out as this issue went to the printer (on July 16), with the Sunday matinee (3 p.m.) performances both weekends having the fewest tickets remaining.

Vince Fontaine (a certain local publisher & editor) and Miss Lynch (Suzanne Bainbridge) will be cutting a (very brief) rug again this weekend.

More tickets, however, still remained for the Friday and Saturday night (at 8 p.m. both nights) performances, but after what I’m certain was a smash opening weekend — under the direction of G. Frank Meekins with choreography by Sarah Walston — all I can say is don’t wait too long to get yours!

The outstanding ensemble cast delivers too many standout performances to name everyone here, but rest assured, all will be praised (and hopefully, pictured) in our next issue.

Among my favorite moments from the show include Tripp Peavyhouse (“Roger”) and Anna Jeffries (Jan) performing “Mooning,” Heather Rich (Marty) singing “Freddie, My Love,” Kyle Fisher (Kenicke)’s “Greased Lightning,” Alyson Gannon (Rizzo)’s mocking “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” the perfect falsetto of Trevor Lloyd (who portrays both Teen Angel and Johnny Casino) on “Beauty School Dropout,” and Olivia Carr (as Sandy) on both “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and her duet with Dylan Fidler (“Danny”) on “You’re The One That I Want.” 

Michael Figueroa (Sonny) and Heather, Tripp and Anna, Kyle and Alyson and Makayla Raines (as Cha-Cha) and Dylan provide standout dance performances.

Don’t have your tickets yet? Visit NewTampaPlayers.org or see the ad below to get yours now!

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