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Grease cast rocks bobby soxers

July 26, 2000

Grease cast rocks bobby soxers



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


About 1,100 people, some decked out in '50s garb, had a high school reunion of sorts as they watched a new production of the musical "Grease" at the Maryland Theatre Wednesday night.

The musical production starred Cindy Williams and Eddie Mekka, best known for their roles as lovebirds Shirley Feeney and Carmine Ragusa on the TV show "Laverne and Shirley."

"I think it is fantastic," said Brenda Binkley of Hagerstown, during the intermission. "I think it is a breath of fresh air."

Among those at the show were a group of Hagerstown residents who came dressed in the style of the musical - bobby sox, letter jackets, ponytails and shirts bearing names.

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Some, including Mary Kalin and Deb, Jennifer and Julie Bockrath, said they were surprised more of those in the theater hadn't dressed in '50s-style garb.

Prior to the musical, Mekka warmed up the audience with jokes.

"This theater rocks!" he said at one point.

Mekka went into the audience as he tried to demonstrate a dance step. He drew laughs as he playfully mocked some who refused to get in the party spirit.

Mekka also hosted an on-stage dance competition in which about 40 people tried to cut a rug.

"It is not whether you win or lose, it's what you do with your dancing shoes," he said.

Toni Reese won the individual's portion of the contest after executing various dance moves. She was awarded a "Grease" sweater for her efforts. Afterward, she said the contest was fun.

During an intermission, audience members said they were enjoying the show.

"It is very good," said Barbara Wetzel of Boonsboro.

Beth and Jim Crowders of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., had won tickets to the show about the fictional Rydell High School on a radio station.

"I liked the singing and dancing," he said during the intermission.

It was their first time in the historical theater and they were impressed with what they saw, he said.

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