The 1950s will come alive in ‘Grease’

The Webster Thomas Players will bring to the stage a teen romance, big personalities, and a taste of the fifties.

Staff

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Nicole Lundahl

The cast of Grease rehearses their final song "We Go Together."

February 10, 2016–Poodle skirts. Leather jackets. Antique cars. The time of drive-in movie theaters and milkshakes at retro diners.  This is the fifties era. The vibrant age of the late fifties, so full of color and life, will barge into our twenty-first century world in Webster Thomas High school’s production of the highly-acclaimed play and movie, Grease.

The Webster Thomas Players will perform Grease in the auditorium at 7:30 p.m. March 17,18, and 19, with a matinée showing at 2 pm on March 19. The $12 tickets will be sold online at www.websterthomasplayers.com, here at school during lunch hours the week of the play, and at Hegedorn’s on Ridge Road.

The story starts with a summer love affair between an Australian good-girl, Sandy, and an American greaser, Danny. After the summer comes to an end, they are forced to part ways.  Their paths, however, cross again when Sandy moves to the United States and, by chance, enrolls in the same school as Danny. Their relationship becomes a rollercoaster of ups and downs when Danny doesn’t act like the same kind and sensitive guy she met over the summer.  This leads to more conflicts and a comical storyline.

Director Mrs.Brenda Nitsch, asked in a Journalism-class interview why she chose Grease as this year’s spring play, said it was a combination of factors.  In part, the play has an appeal not only to girls but to guys (who are, some years, in shorter supply for the musicals). “Grease was the show that guys could wrap their brains around and get excited about.”

Furthermore, the characters in the play are characters whom teens will know:  “The aspect I’m most excited about is that it is a show students can really relate to — because they’re all teenagers.”  She pointed out that the characters on stage will have “exaggerated personas,” which makes the roles fun to play and the characters familiar to the audience (“We all know people like that in life.”) These big personalities help the production convey a tone that is “bigger than life in a very hit-you-in-the-face kind of way,” she added.

For viewers who wonder whether this will be more like the movie version or more like the stage version, Mrs. Nitsch said, “It will be more like the movie because that’s what people remember the most.”

As for what sets this musical apart from others, Mrs. Nitsch said, “We have an actual car on stage,” a first for Webster Thomas.  And if that’s not enough, students might come to see the show in order to see some faculty members and our top administrator play roles.  Mr. Todd Stahl and Mr. Mark Stoetzel are double-cast in the part of Vince Fontaine.

And, although it may not have been in the job description when Mr. Carmen Gumina took on the role of Superintendent of the Webster schools last year, he will make his debut on stage.  Playing the role of Teen Angel, Mr. Gumina will be singing, “Beauty School Dropout.”

Cast list:

Sandy                           Kylie Dennison

Rizzo                             Amanda Nelson

Frenchy                        Nicole Meredith

Marty                            Mia Klasner

Jan                                 Zoe Waltman

Patty                             Becca Hammack

Cha Cha                        Madi Fulton

Miss Lynch                  Kelsey Blackerby

Danny                           Noah Swain

Kenickie                       Jared Carello

Doody                           Jeremy Fregeau

Roger                            Joe Badaracco

Sonny                           Nic Ellis