Grease!

It's the word for husband-and-wife acting team making Palace Theatre return

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader
February 21. 2018 1:15PM
Sam Harvey is going from 1980s glam-metal head-banger Stacee Jaxx in “Rock of Ages” to 1950s Rydell High School greaser Kenickie in “Grease” at the Palace Theatre in downtown Manchester. 
If you go...
WHAT: 'Grease'

WHERE: Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester

WHEN: Friday through March 18

TICKETS: $25 for children and $39-$64 for adults

INFO: palacetheatre.org; 668-5588

When Katie Ann Harvey and Sam Harvey step onto the Palace Theatre stage in downtown Manchester on Friday to play the supporting roles of teen lovers Betty Rizzo and Kenickie in the musical “Grease,” there won’t be a lot of acting going on.

The two New York City actors have been a couple for six years, married for three. “Grease,” about the highs and lows of teenage life in the 1950s at Rydell High, marks their third appearance on a Palace stage.

“This business takes you all over the world. To be even able to do one show in the same state is kinda cool,” Katie Ann said.

She plays Rizzo, the tough-talking queen of the Pink Ladies crowd who is a foil to the Catholic school-girl lead role of lead actress Sandy.

Sam plays Kenickie, a car aficionado and right-hand man to leading actor Danny, leader of the Burger Palace Boys gang.

They join a 17-person crew for “Grease,” which the Palace bills as one of the most popular musicals ever. It opens this weekend with shows at 7:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, and will play for the following three weekends.

The movie “Grease” famously starred John Travolta and Olivia-Newton John in the leading roles, along with Stockard Channing as Rizzo and Jeff Conaway as Kenickie.

“‘Grease’ is a classic. If you ask anyone if they’ve seen ‘Grease,’ they’ve at least seen the movie,” Sam said. He said it represents an ongoing effort by the Palace to make musicals accessible.

The last show — “Rock of Ages,” which also featured both Harveys — appeals to people more interested in classic rock than specifically musical theater.

“Grease” is a more traditional musical, but the 1978 movie is a lure for film fans who may have never seen a musical.

“We’re all trying to hit the favorite parts of the movie, but as actors we’re all trying to find our own take on the character,” Sam said.

Both praised the choreography of Carl Rajotte, who has arranged the dance numbers for songs such as “Greased Lightnin,” “We Go Together” and “Summer Nights.”

“I grew up a dancer. This is such a treat for me, dancing all the time on stage,” Katie Ann said.

“It’s one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done dance wise,” Sam said.

The two said they live in New York, and when they audition each let the director know there’s a spouse interested in a part. Many directors like to accommodate a spouse, reasoning that the actor will be happy and no one will have to leave mid-production because of relationship issues, Sam said.

They played in both Palace Theatre productions of “Rock of Ages,” and Sam played in “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”

“We’ve talked about (moving to Manchester),” Kelly Ann said. “We love it up here. The downtown is great. I love coffee, and there’s lot of places to drink coffee.”


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