"Grease" at the Timber Lake Playhouse -- June 1 through 11

Thursday, June 1, through Sunday, June 11

Timber Lake Playhouse, 8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll IL

A Tony Award nominee for both Best Musical and Best Revival of a Musical that inspired one of the most popular movie musicals of all time, Grease is the word as the 2023 season-starter at Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse, the endlessly popular show beloved by audiences for its unforgettable characters and songs including "Greased Lightnin'," "We Go Together," and the karaoke staple "Summer Nights."

It’s 1959 as Grease begins, and Rydell High School’s senior class is in rare form. The too-cool-for-school “Burger Palace Boys” are stealing hub-caps and acting tough, while their gum-snapping, chain-smoking “Pink Ladies” are looking hot in bobby sox and pedal pushers. In short, the 1950s high school dream is about to explode in this rollicking musical that is both an homage to the idealism of the '50s and a satire of high schoolers’ age-old desire to be rebellious and provocative. At the heart of the story is the romance between hot-rodding Danny Zuko and the sweet new girl in town, Sandy Dumbrowski. They had a secret romance in summer, but now back in the context of school, peer-pressure and cliques make their love a bit more complicated. Can Danny maintain his cool-dude status and still get make demure Sandy his girl?

First performed on February 5, 1971, at the Kingston Mines nightclub in Chicago, Grease made its New York debut at the Eden Theatre in lower Manhattan on February 14, 1972. Though the musical opened geographically off-Broadway, it did so under first-class Broadway contracts, and was consequently deemed eligible for the 1972 Tony Awards, eventually receiving seven nominations. In June of that year, the production moved to Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre and then to the Royale Theatre that November, where the show ran until January 27, 1980. By the time it closed in April of 1980 (ending with a five-week run at the larger Majestic Theatre), Grease had enjoyed 3,388 performances, the longest run yet in Broadway history until it was surpassed by A Chorus Line in 1983. Currently ranking as Broadway's 16th-longest-running show, Grease went on to become a West End hit, a movie smash for John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, a popular Broadway revival in 1994 and 2007, and a staple of regional theatre, summer stock, community theatre, and high-school and middle-school drama groups.

Timber Lake's production of Grease is directed and choreographed by Daniel Gold, with music direction by Oliver Townsend, and the season-opener also boasts scenic design by the theatre's executive director Dan Danielowski, lighting design by Dylan Carter, and sound design by Tyler Malone, with Chelsey Steinmetz returning as production stage manager. “We have been waiting for Grease to become available for TLP to produce for several years,” said Danielowski. “When our first choice for the 2023 opening show wasn’t available, we tried one more time to get Grease and were successful.”

Grease runs at the Mt. Carroll theatre June 1 through 11, with scheduled performances at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is $25-35, and more information and tickets are available by calling (815)244-2035 and visiting TimberLakePlayhouse.org.

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