Singing ‘Summer Nights’: Middle Park High School Theatre department presents ‘Grease’ |

Singing ‘Summer Nights’: Middle Park High School Theatre department presents ‘Grease’

The hit musical and movie, "Grease," will slide onto the Middle Park High School stage from May 11-13. The theatre department will present showings at 7 p.m. each day.

Middle Park High School Theatre department students are in final rehearsals for their spring production of “Grease.”

Set up as a high school reunion flashback, “Grease” is set in 1959. In the Broadway show turned hit film, two teenagers who fall for each other during a carefree summer romance. But when the school year begins, Danny is torn between his feelings for good-girl Sandy and his image with the popular crowd – the Burger Palace Boys and the Pink Ladies. The show portrays the teenagers navigating the complexities of peer pressure, politics, personal core values and love.

Theater audiences are often surprised at how different the live show is from the movie version, which was influenced to a large degree by the stars who were featured in it. The movie also cut a number of the songs from the original show and commissioned new songs for the leads.

The Middle Park High School production has toned down some of the on-stage action, while retaining language that is true to the original Broadway script. The theatre department also paid extra for the rights to include some of the musical numbers from the movie that so many people have come to associate with the show, making for a theater experience that will provide a balance of newness
and nostalgia.

Seniors Connor Murdoch and Olivia Kendziorski play Danny and Sandy, respectively. The Pink Ladies are played by senior Brooke Bailey (Frenchy), junior Sophia Gantt (Rizzo), junior Abilene Yurich (Marty) and sophomore Sabra Forquer (Jan). The Burger Palace Boys include senior Bode Rehm (Kenickie), senior Nick Forquer (Doody), sophomore Nathan Chua (Roger) and sophomore Tyler Maurais (Sonny). Senior Aly Barker plays cheerleader Patty Simcox, and senior Paddy Aither plays Eugene Florzyck. Additional supporting characters are played by juniors Macy Spiewak (Miss Lynch) and Ashlynn Ferguson (Johnny Casino), as well as freshmen Reese Kervin (Vince Fontaine) and Vallie Mace (Cha-Cha DeGregorio). Ensemble members include AJ Feacher, Weston Foley, Marilynn Rose-Saxon and Gretchen Tracy.

The production and tech team for this production are led by seniors Dominic Base (stage manager), Brayden Webb (construction crew lead), Adam Zeleznikar (construction crew lead), Hank Grissom (construction crew), Paddy Aither (sound engineer), Aly Barker (costumes and hair/makeup designer) and Major Powell (lighting consultant). In addition to, junior Sophia Gantt (student director); sophomores Bridget Aither and Kaylee Hoover (lighting technicians) and Jill Hamlin (wardrobe manager); freshmen Vyla Clark and Colvin Villup (sound technicians) and Jacob Zeleznikar (construction crew).

Professional actor Katherine Viviano created the choreography, assisted by student dance captains Sabra Forquer and Vallie Mace.

Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s facilities manager Dennis Mills oversaw the set construction. Middle Park High School art teacher Justine Sawyer served as the scenic charge artist, working with art students Aria Cano, AJ Feacher, Reese Kervin, Jax Redmond and Gretchen Tracy to paint the set. Denver-based professional costumer Nicole M. Harrison did the costume design, assisted by
students Jill Hamlin and Aly Barker.

“Grease” will play at Middle Park High School on May 11-13, with shows at 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets will be available at the door: Adults $10; youth $5; senior community members and East Grand School District students/staff free. Audience members should note that the performance includes adult themes.

The cast and crew of “Grease.”
Christal McDougall/Courtesy Photo
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