Students get nostalgic with ‘Grease’ production

Leather jackets and poodle skirts return as J.L. Crowe drama students perform at Charles Bailey Theatre this weekend

“Grease” is the word this week at the Charles Bailey Theatre when the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies take the stage.

An enthusiastic group of drama students from J.L. Crowe Secondary School have been working for weeks, learning their lines, dance steps and musical cues to perform the classic 1950s musical. Now, it is theatre goers’ turn to learn the hand jive.

The young thespians are putting on two shows this coming weekend, one on Friday and another on Saturday, telling the song-and-dance filled high school love story of Danny and Sandy.

“Grease” has been retold time and time again, whether it is Frenchie being warned to stay in school, or Kenickie racing down Thunder Road for pink  slips.

Crowe drama teacher and production director, Tanya LaFond, says that is exactly why the class is putting on the show this year.

“The play has always been a favourite of mine since I saw it at the age of five,” she said.

“It is musical that is fun, has great music and spans generations.”

Kyle Higgins is playing the role of Danny Zuko, the high school bad boy who tries to hide his softer side while winning over Sandy, a summer fling who reappeared on the first day of school.

Higgins says he can’t wait for audiences to see the final product after he and his fellow actors have worked for weeks to perfect it.

“We practise twice a week after school and on Saturdays,” he said.

“As well, we practise on our lunch hours and on our own. It is a big commitment, but it has been fun to see the show become a polished performance.”

After bringing the students together and directing the show, Lafond also can’t wait to see the audience in their seats on opening night.

“People should come and see the show because the cast who will bring these classic characters to life are an amazing, dynamic group of individuals,” she said. “They have all become very close throughout the run, and their group dynamic translates to the stage. They have a great deal of fun together, and I know the audience will have fun with them.”

Before the curtain goes up at 7 p.m. on Friday, the school is getting everyone in the 1950s greaser spirit with a tailgate party from 6 to 6:45 p.m. at the theatre. The event is going to have Vince Fontaine, in character, hosting the ‘red carpet’ while attendees sip on traditional malt shop fare, like root beer floats and burgers. There will be vintage cars, ’50s music and even a pie throwing contest where students will get to throw a pie at their teachers.

Tickets to see the Crowe students perform “Grease” are on sale at the Charles Bailey Box Office at $17 for adults and $14 for students. Both the Friday and Saturday performances start at 7 p.m. sharp.