Arts and Entertainment

Island’s own Pink Lady to host ‘Grease’ sing-a-long fundraiser

Dinah Manoff was the original “Marty Maraschino.” - photo courtesy of Bainbridge Performing Arts
Dinah Manoff was the original “Marty Maraschino.”
— image credit: photo courtesy of Bainbridge Performing Arts

Bainbridge Island and the arts go together like ramma lamma lamma and dinga da dinga dong.

Bainbridge Performing Arts will celebrate the undeniable delights of doo-wop with a sing-a-long performance of the classic cult musical “Grease.”

The island theater has pulled out all the stops for the sing-a-long and will have a genuine Pink Lady hosting the entire event.

“I’m going to be the music man, the song leader, for the Grease sing-a-long,” said Dinah Manoff.

Manoff, who teaches at the theater, is the original Marty Maraschino from the 1978 film.

She will host the event as “Grease” fans follow the bouncing ball through the legendary summer blockbuster. The film made major stars of John Travolta and Olivia Newtown-John, and also spurred a soundtrack album that was the second-best selling record of the year.

“It’s been a surprise to me over the years, it keeps grabbing its own steam and gains new fans,” Manoff said. “We didn’t know it was going to happen when we made the movie.”

While the cult success of the film came as a surprise to Manoff, she knew at the time that something was special about the production.

“It wasn’t just another role, because John Travolta was in it and at the time he was the hottest thing in town, so we knew we were in something big,” Manoff said.

Despite lukewarm reviews upon its original theatrical release, Manoff is continually surprised at how enthusiastic fans are drawn to the film.

“Over the years it kind of just keeps pulling in people and it was far more popular 10 years after it opened than when it did open,” Manoff said.

The sing-a-long starts at

4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 10 at the performing arts center.

Admission to the fundraiser is $50, $20 for youth, and includes dinner provided by Bainbridge Island BBQ. Proceeds from the event will go to support the theater’s school.

There will also be a car show, a silent auction, and other live entertainment in addition to the on-screen feature.

If seeing ‘Grease’ become an international hit was a bit of a shock, Manoff was in for another surprise when she moved to the island. She soon found out that Bainbridge Island was all about the arts.

“I never expected when I moved here that I would find an outlet on the island creatively,” Manoff said. “And to have this incredible state-of-the-art theater with incredibly talented people at the helm, it’s just such a gift.”

Such a community gift is why fundraisers like the sing-a-long are important to Manoff.

“I love and appreciate BPA,” she said. “I can’t imagine there is another community theater like it anywhere, it is so energized and a huge resource for the community.”

Manoff encourages people to dress up and come in costume. There is no better way to experience “Grease” than to sing-a-long, she said.

“It’s a happening,” Manoff said. “People of all ages are going to come together and all participate in being one with the ‘Grease’ cast in a way that they were never able to, and be with one ‘Grease’ cast member.”

Community Events, April 2014

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