clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

GREASE! 'DANNY' AND HIS 'SANDY' EXPECT TO BE MARRIED BY TUESDAY, WHEN TOURING COMPANY ARRIVES IN S.L.

Eat your hearts out, girls!

Danny and Sandy are getting married.They really are! Trust me!

By the time the national touring company of "Grease!" arrives for its two-week run on Tuesday at the Capitol Theatre, Adrian Zmed (Danny) and Susan Wood (who most recently played Sandy in the Broadway cast - but who is not in the touring cast) will be Mr. and Mrs. Zmed.

In addition to Zmed, other major celebrities starring in the touring production include Dody Goodman as Miss Lynch, Rydell High's tough English teacher, and Micky Dolenz of the Monkees as Vince Fontaine, the DJ with the tiger skin coat (and the moves to match).

"Grease!" will play July 18-30 as part of the Theater League of Utah's 1995-96 season.

According to the show's publicists, the wedding was scheduled to take place sometime between the show's Honolulu, Hawaii, engagement and Salt Lake City.

Adrian and Susan first met about five and a half years ago during a production of "Godspell" for the St. Louis Muni Opera, and they've been inseparable since then.

During a recent telephone interview with Zmed, right after the show had opened in Grand Rapids, Mich., wasn't certain about the particulars.

"We'll be getting married somewhere on an island on a mountain top or next to a waterfall. And why not? It seems to be as good a place as any in the world. Or we could come to Utah and get married in the mountains there," he said.

Just a few months ago, both Zmed and Wood were finally playing the roles of Danny and Sandy in the smash hit Broadway revival.

In fact, Zmed has been involved with "Grease!" off and on since the original version, which opened on June 7, 1972, and didn't close until April 13, 1980 - after 3,388 performances.

Zmed played Danny Zuko toward the end of that run, then popped up in the movie sequel, "Grease! 2" (as Johnny), and played Danny Zuko again in the current Broadway revival for six months - opposite Susan - before signing on for the national tour.

"It's like of of those things. It's not conscious, just something that keeps popping up and following you around," he noted. "This particular round came as a complete fluke. I was doing `Blood Brothers' on Broadway - I love that show - and my fiancee was playing Sandy in `Grease.' All of a sudden, the producers gave me a call and they thought it would be a great idea to have Danny and Sandy be played by a couple who were about to get married.

"We had worked together before in many productions, but never opposite each other, you know, as lovers on stage. And how often do you get to that on a Broadway stage? So while I was very happy with `Blood Brothers' and I really wanted to stay, I loved `Grease!' too, and the character of Danny Zuko - and the incentive, of course, of being able to do it with Susan, I figured, well, we'd better grab this now. Who knows when we'll have a chance to do this again?

"It was a glorious, glorious six months!" Zmed exclaimed. "I just recently left the show and, in fact, Susan was only going to do it for a few more months. It was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had in acting."

Zmed is finding that "Grease!" itself is something of an incredible experience.

"The success and appeal of this show? It appeals to a great, wide range of people from kids - and I mean little, little kids - to teenagers to the parents and the grandpas and grandmas. It's one of the remarkable phenomenons of this particular show, a show that I know only too well," he said.

"I'm actually looking forward to coming to Salt Lake. I've never really been in the city. I've stopped over on layover flights and stuff, but in all the stage and television things I've done and promotion tours, I've never been in Salt Lake City.

"And I've heard some wonderful things about the city - how beautiful it is and how glorious the outlying area is. So two weeks there will really be quite a lot of fun."

Zmed added that even in stopovers that are not great "theater" towns, "Grease!" has been a smash hit.

"It's one of those shows that you just can kill. I was one of the last Danny Zukos in the original production on Broadway, so I know it from that perspective.

"Then, a few years later in Hollywood, I ended up doing the movie `Grease! 2,' and now, here I am again all these years later doing Danny Zuko again. There's this one common denominator that I always see in all the productions and it's the essence of the show.

"In addition, of course, to those other things, the music is very catchy and fun. But everybody went through high school and everybody can relate to all of the innocent, first-time things that are happening on that stage.

"Everybody either was or grew up knowing people like every character on that stage - the nerd character, the leader-of-the-pack character, the Sandy character. That, in my mind, is the appeal to about 75 percent of the audience. The appeal to younger kids who don't understand all the sexual tension of being a teenager and stuff, well - they've seen the video 200 times! It's like a `cult' thing. You see little 3 or 4-year-olds coming dressed as Danny and Sandy to the show.

"One of the fun things about this particular production is that we have a very fun preshow. In the original, we had '50s music playing at 7:30 and the show opened at 8. Well, the director has taken this a step further and actually put a disc jockey on stage, who is played by Micky Dolenz. For half an hour it's kind of like a whole other show before the show starts. He brings people up on stage for a dance contest and their a prizes and it really sets the mood for the show. Everybody is just ready to rock 'n' roll and party and hoop 'n' holler and just have a good time."

*****

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Where, when

The Theater League of Utah's presentation of the national touring production of "Grease!" at the Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, will have 16 performances, July 16-30.

Curtain will be 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, both 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Tickets for the Friday and Saturday weekends shows are $30, $37.50 and $45, with admission for all other performances priced at $27.50, $35 and $42.50. The best seating available is during the second week of the run, July 25-30. For reservations, call ArtTix at 355-2787.