LAPEL — “Grease” is the word, and that word is coming to the Lapel High School auditorium this week.
The story set at Rydell High School in 1959 has been produced on and off Broadway, was adapted into a popular 1978 movie, and has seen numerous revivals around the world, including a live television broadcast in 2016.
The musical produced memorable characters such as Sandy, Danny, Rizzo and Frenchy, as well as many beloved songs, including “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’” and “Beauty School Dropout.”
Lapel English teacher Amy Ingram is directing the school production, which stars Evan Mosley as Danny Zuko, Samantha Voegele as Sandy Dumbrowski and Sophie Nicholson as Betty Rizzo.
Voegele and Nicholson have stage experience, but Mosley — a football player at Lapel — is new to the performing arts.
Ingram, who has had Mosley in her class, said he is a perfect fit as the greaser turned jock.
“This is his first musical,” Ingram said. “He’s never worked harder for anything I’ve asked him to do as he has for this role. He’s taking this role completely seriously and from Day 1, he has been in it to win it.”
Mosley said he has seen “Grease” many times and watched other movies such as “American Grafitti” to get a better feel for playing Danny Zuko. It is a character he said he can relate to.
“It’s cool playing Danny, because he’s the jock and everything,” he said. “I really wish I could have grown up in a different generation. I’ve always loved the ’50s, and it’s really cool being able to live that out.”
Ingram said despite the experience gap between Voegele and Mosley, the duo has worked well beside each other in the lead roles.
“They really have this chemistry and connection,” she said. “That part was so easy for me when I saw them together on stage.”
Sandy, a character played by well-known performers such as Olivia Newton-John, Deborah Gibson and Julianne Hough, is a character Voegele said she identifies with.
“I’m very shy with new people,” she said. “That’s similar to Sandy. When she comes to Rydell, she’s very shy. But once I get to know someone, I’m very open, which relates to the ending when she comes out of her shell.”
Voegele will lend her amazing voice to “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and joins Mosley in a high-energy rendition of “You’re the One that I Want,” where the chemistry between the two is evident from the moment Sandy tells Danny, “Tell me about it, stud.”
As the leader of the Pink Ladies, Nicholson as Rizzo performs “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” and adds personality and attitude to the role she wanted to portray.
“What a singer,” Ingram said. “She has wanted to be Rizzo for a long time. When she came to audition, she nailed it. She blew it out of the water.”
In addition to Rizzo, the Pink Ladies are Emme Vogt as Frenchy, Alissa Morrison as Marty and Taylor Anderson as Jan, and all perform with energy and humor, Ingram said.
Ingram added that Anderson, in her first starring role, and Morrison, who is new to the school, turned out to be perfect casting.
“She’s never been a lead,” Ingram said of Anderson. “But her characterization, she has glued herself to that role and she brings those scenes to life. She’s a hard hitter — I’m really proud of my casting on that. Alissa is new to our school, no one knew how a great a singer she was until auditions. We’re lucky to have her. Those leading ladies really stick out.”
The show includes a video filmed in Lapel that will play during the opening, and local recording artist Doug Anderson will sing “Beauty School Dropout.”
The show features comedy, commentary on teen issues and great music, Ingram said.
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 18
2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19
Lapel High School auditorium