by Lorie Lewis Ham
Most people are familiar with the musical Grease, whether it is because of the John Travolta movie, or the stage musical. This week Grease will be hitting the stage at the Reedley High School Performing Arts Theatre.
For anyone who doesn’t know the story, Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko are two high school students who happen to meet during the summer and fall in love, not really thinking they’d ever see each other again. Low and behold, they end up at the same high school because Sandy has transferred there. We then see that Danny was a different person when they met, and here in school he is the cool guy on campus (which one is the true Danny we really don’t know). Sweet innocent Sandy changes herself to get his attention. The musical is filled with great 50s style music and songs that have become familiar to most of us like “We Go Together” and the title song “Grease.”
This year Reedley High School chose this show for their spring musical. “The students researched several titles and selected Grease,” said director of the show, and KCUSD theatre arts coordinator Mark Norwood.
Those familiar with the show know there are some themes that might not be appropriate for a high school production, but Norwood stated that he has been careful to make sure the show is appropriate for all ages.
The cast of 43 students includes several students already very familiar to the RHS stage, such as senior Meg Clark, who played Maria in West Side Story last year and is playing Sandy in Grease. “This role is challenging because Sandy’s range is a lot lower than I’m used to singing, but I’m definitely growing as a performer by stepping out of my comfort zone and singing more belty-type music.”
Meg stated that this show has been a blast, especially playing opposite one of her best friends, Sam Szpor, who is playing Danny. But this show is bittersweet for Meg because it is her final show in high school. “I love the energy and atmosphere of doing the spring musical and I will really miss it. I plan to keep involved in theatre, but these will definitely be some of my favorite memories.”
Sam is new to the stage, but is excited to be playing Danny. “The thing I like best about playing Danny is that it is the total opposite of myself. He is the cool and composed guy while I am the dorky and crazy guy. I would definitely find that also the most challenging thing about the role as well.”
Senior Alexis Hoang was also seen in last year’s RHS production of West Side Story, and has been in one other RHS show as well. In this her final RHS show, she is playing Betty Rizzo, who has a lot of attitude and is very strong minded. “It’s great because I get to be someone that I’m usually not and have some fun with it.”
As to the hardest part about her role, Alexis stated that it is challenging to try to pull of Rizzo’s attitude because she has such a big reputation in the show and it’s hard to match her character. “This will be my third show and my last in high school. I’m really sad that it will be my last show but I’m also really excited that Grease will be the last one.”
Come out to the Reedley High School Performing Arts Theatre and not only support the arts in our schools, but have a great time watching these kids perform. Performance dates are April 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m., April 6 at 2 p.m., and a special matinee on April 9 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and at Bike Trax and are $11 for adults and $7 for students. The April 9 performance is only $5.
You can find more theatre reviews and entertainment articles in KRL’s arts & entertainment section.