Lubbock Moonlight Broadway is gearing up for their production of Grease. Founder and creator of Lubbock Moonlight Musicals and Broadway, Gerald Dolter, visits with the Front Row to talk about the show.
How did you decide you wanted to do Grease?
I think Grease has universal appeal. It’s a show that I never get tired of. I was born back in 1955, so I lived in the 60s. But I was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa, which is in Eastern Iowa. And they always said that everything hit Dubuque ten years later. So, I feel like when I grew up, I grew up in the 50s anyway.
I think Grease has appeal to us even today, simply because it was an easier time to live in. Yeah, you’re dealing with the all the same problems, but it was a lot simpler having to deal with things. Maybe that’s the, you know, starting with television, now it’s the internet, that makes things so accessible. It seems like it makes things so complicated. Also, Grease just a couple years ago, they did the live broadcast of the show. And their movie is having a revival here, they’re going to be re-releasing it for the big screen.
I just thought the time would be right to bring this show. The last time that I produced Grease was in the early 2000s and I did it at Texas Tech and at least two or three of the people that were in that show, have gone onto professional careers. One of them, he was a physical therapy major, and involvement in the show changed his life.
What I was really struck by, was when I initially pulled the cast together, and everybody was there—there are 30 of them all these young fresh faces, all smiling—and I said ok, who’s done Grease before. And no one raised their hand. I said who has seen the movie, about half of them raised their hand. They didn’t, the majority of them really didn’t know this piece. And I said, “You’re all very young.” I said, “Who is the oldest person here?” So I picked him out and said, “When were you born?” And he says, “1975.” That’s the oldest one.
Then I realized, this is a generation, and they’re talented and they are removed—they’re far removed from that time. So, I’m going to have to pull on my teaching abilities and show them what life was like back then.
Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.