For reasons good and bad, Americans remain enchanted with the lingering mystique of the 1950s: A time when roller-skating waitresses were as plausible as lyrics like "rama-lama ding-dong." (Now our culture produces lyrics of such staggering sophistication as "fuhshizzle my nizzle.")
The touring version of Grease burns up the quarter mile at the Pikes Peak Center next week as part of its Broadway in Colorado Springs series. While it features no household names, keep an eye on the T-Birds and Pink Ladies as Grease has long played host to stars both rising and descending. Saturday Night Live sensation Joe Piscopo, for example, rode out his career as disc jockey Vince Fontaine during the mid-1990s. This year's Tony Award winner for Hairspray, Marisa Janet Winokur, also served time on the Grease bus. (Full disclosure: This writer played Doody to Winokur's Jan in a high school production circa 1990.)
But no matter the star status, Grease's campfest should tickle musical theater devotees and '50s nostalgists alike. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John may be indelibly inscribed as Danny and Sandy for eternity, but, like Shakespeare, it's always interesting to see what new twists will be added to this American malt shop masterpiece.
-- John Dicker
capsule Pikes Peak Center 190 S. Cascade Ave.
Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 17-18, 8 p.m.
$25-$45 ; 520-9090