April 6, 1979:
“Grease” slid into the Masonic Temple for one show in the wake of the beloved film of the same name.
With the show still on Broadway at the time, too, and the 1978 movie version starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reaching hit status, the near capacity crowd of 1,700 knew that “Grease is the word.”
The Scranton performance starred Candice Moore as Sandy, Mike Speero as Danny, Patty Harkin as Marty, Tim Fauvell as Roger, Jose Vega as Teen Angel, Doug Moore as DJ Vince Fontaine and Beverly Shelton as Miss Lynch. This was the last performance of the show’s seven-month nationwide tour. Tickets for the performance cost $10.
The crowd was wowed by such production numbers as “Hand Jive.” Vega and Harkin gave the crowd something special with their respective performances of “Beauty School Dropout” and “Freddie, My Love.” The reviewer for The Scranton Times said both Moore and Speero had their moments as Sandy and Danny.
The musical was previously staged in Scranton in January 1974 and returned in 2004 with Frankie Avalon portraying Teen Angel. Avalon also played the role in the movie.
In 2011, I participated in Dancing with the NEPA Stars at the Masonic Temple. I performed a dance routine to a mash-up of two songs from the musical ‘Grease’ – “Grease’ and “Greased Ligtnin”. You can watch the my performance below –
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 15 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast