SHS takes on ‘Grease’: Curtains open March 15-16

Members of the Southington High School drama club rehearse a big dance number for their upcoming production of “Grease” on March 15-16 in the SHS auditorium. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

By SHERIDAN ROY

STAFF WRITER

Grease is the word this year for the Southington High School drama club production, which is just about ready to take the stage. The drama club will perform the 1970s classic on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Picking this show was totally the students’ decision,” said director Alyssa Fontana-Bunel. “We knew coming off of Les Miserables last year that we wanted to do something more fun and lighthearted, and the kids had been asking for this.”

The film portrays teens in love in the 1950s. Main characters Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson share a summer fling and part ways to return to school in the fall, then find themselves both attending Rydell High School. Zuko has played it sweet all summer, but on the school turf, he and his clique are known to be the tough, popular crew.

Olsson is swept up by the pink ladies crew. Zuko can’t help his feelings for Olsson, but is challenged by his friends to keep up the tough guy character.

“He has a façade where he tries to be accepted by everyone,” said Jack Dunham who plays the role of Zuko. “The girl he fell in love with comes to his high school and he finds it hard to keep up with both personas.”

Sweet Sandy Olsson, played by Tori Sperry, is hurt at first when her summer romance pulls away from her.

“She’s a nice girl, but she starts to stand up for herself,” said Sperry. “She finds her confidence.”

The “burger place boys” and the “pink ladies” intermingle throughout the play and experience their own ups and downs, and are as unpredictable as high school relationships go.

Maddie Hepp, playing the role of Betty Rizzo, said playing the part of Rizzo had its challenges.

“She’s a lot different than I am. She’s very tough, and doesn’t care what other people think,” said Hepp. “But, I think she’s misunderstood. There’s a deeper level to her. I try to bring that to life by thinking about experiences in my own life.”

Assistant director Sarah Reitsma said the drama club started coming together smoothly as a unit in the last few weeks.

“From a team perspective, this show can be tough because there is a core group of roles that are utilized much more—the burger place boys and the pink ladies,” she said. “But, in the weeks leading up to the production, we have been coming together as a unit, and the students gel right away and get on board once they do come together.”

Treasurer of the drama club Juliette Lord said there have been several fundraisers leading up to the show in order to defray costs of the play, including fundraisers at Fancy Bagel, Lowes, Smashburger and Vineyard Vines. Ticket sales at $15 each will also play a role.

The drama club has been practicing three days a week since November to master the show.

“Grease is such a classic, and our show has a ton of talent,” said drama club president Silvio D’agostino. “This is not a show to miss.”

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.

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