The Waupaca High School musical presentation of “Grease” opens Sunday, Nov. 3, in the high school’s Performing Arts Center for a run of four public performances.
This year’s production dates are 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7; and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.
Senior citizen discounts are in effect for Sunday’s matinee and Tuesday’s evening performance. All ticket sales are final.
Tickets should be picked up at the high school guidance office prior to the performance. Those people unable to pick them up can do so 45 minutes prior to curtain time.
The public is encouraged to call Cindy Ikert at the high school office at 715-258-4131, ext. 1101 to reserve their seats.
Director Dan Wolfgram said there are still seats left for every performance with the best seats available on Tuesday and Thursday.
The cast list for this year is: Danny – Luke Harger, Sandy – Ellen Ryder, Rizzo – Kelsie Wolfgram, Frenchy – Maleva Butkiewicz, Marty – Paige Roy, Jan – Maggie Walkoe, Kenickie – Isaac Baumgart, Doody – Isaac Barden, Roger – Caleb Abrahamson, Sonny – Nick Jungers, Patty – McKenna Gustke, Cha-Cha: Zoe Minehart, Vince Fontaine – Anthony Olmeda, Johnny Casino: Andrew Reis, Teen Angel: James Camann and Miss Lynch – Erinn Manteufel.
Over the past week, more than 200 students put the finishing touches on their musical presentation.
This year’s leads and co-leads are still growing in their characters after weeks of endless rehearsals.
“Grease” is a 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.
The musical is named for the 1950’s United States working-class youth subculture known as greasers.
The musical, set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School, follows 10 working-class teenagers as they navigate the complexities of love.
The score attempts to recreate the sounds of early rock and roll.
In its record-breaking, original Broadway production, “Grease” was a raunchy, raw, aggressive, vulgar show. Subsequent productions sanitized it and tamed it down.
Wolfgram assures the version which will be presented by the students will resemble the popular movie version starring Olivia Newton John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing.
“Grease” was first performed in 1971 in the original Kingston Mines Theater in Chicago.
At the time that it closed in 1980, “Grease’s” 3,388-performance run was the longest yet in Broadway history, although it was surpassed by “A Chorus Line” a few years later.
It went on to become a West End hit, a hugely successful film with two popular Broadway revivals in 1994 and 2007 and a staple of regional theatre, summer stock, community theatre and high school and middle school drama groups.
It remains Broadway’s 14th longest-running show.
The magic of the theater and the run of this year’s show could not have come to life if it were not for the work of the leads, co-leads, pit band, dancers, chorus, artists, stage and make-up crew and usher crew.
No other single event in the high school combines and utilizes the talents of so many departments and members of the student body.
The various crews have been under the direction of some key people.
This year’s production staff includes Anne Justmann as assistant director, choreographer and costume director; Wanda Eikenbary as accompanist; Mark Kryshak as pit band director; Monica Reeves as make-up director; Lee Schultz in charge of set design/painting and creative set consultation; David Larson in charge of set construction; Patsy Servey, Julie Austin, Suzy Faulks, Ronda Neidert, Kay Ellingson, Lynne Michael and Betsy Noble, assisting with costume construction; Cindy Ikert as business manager; and Wolfgram as musical director/producer.
Wolfgram expressed his appreciation for this year’s production staff,
“I simply cannot express how fortunate I am to be able to work with so many talented and dedicated people. The students have certainly benefited, and our audiences will see the enormous amount of effort put forth by this production staff,” he said. “The show would never happen without their many hours of dedication. The Waupaca community is also very fortunate to have dedicated teachers and volunteers who literally put their lives on hold for months on end to make this experience the best they can for the students.”