Vergennes students bop and rock in fall musical ‘Grease’

VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union High School Music Department is excited to present their fall musical production of “Grease” to the community on Nov. 17 and 18, at 7 p.m. and Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. in the VUHS auditorium.
If you are longing for a glimpse into the lives of high school students in the late ’50s, this is the show for you. The story begins with a class of 1959 Rydell High School reunion headed by principal Miss Lynch (Alyse Beauchemin), who starts off with a recitation of the school anthem (“Alma Mater”). She welcomes former cheerleader/yearbook-editor Patty Simcox Honeywell (Cedar Winslow) and class valedictorian Eugene Florczyk (Xander Deblois). Eugene gives a rousing speech, mentioning that the alumni who are missing from the reunion are surely present in-spirit.
Suddenly, the gang known as the Burger Palace Boys (known in later productions as the “T-Birds”) and the “Pink Ladies” appear and give their own version of the Rydell anthem, “Alma Mater (Parody).” 
The play fades back in time into Rydell High’s first day of the new school year, 1958. The Pink Ladies sit in the lunchroom, and the Burger Palace Boys sit at the entrance to the school. There is a new girl at school, Sandy Dumbrowski (Caitlin Walsh). She describes to the Pink Ladies Frenchy (Peighton Duprey), Marty (Emily Steen), Jan (Abigail Dobson) and Betty Rizzo (Maddy Smith) how she and the leader of the Burger Palace Boys, Danny Zuko (Max Ratti-Bicknell), had a brief love affair the summer before, which ended with unresolved love. In describing the fling, Sandy focuses on the romance, while Danny exaggerates to the other Burger Palace Boys Doody (Jack Halpin), Sonny (Kaelen Dobson), Roger (Kamren Kiefer) and Kenickie (Zeke Palmer) regarding the physical aspects of their relationship.
Playing it way too cool when Danny finally bumps into Sandy in the school halls, the cliques and peer pressure complicate their love story. The drama continues to unfold as the whole gang dances and sings around Danny and Sandy’s romance performing such favorite songs as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightning,” “Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee,” “Beauty School Dropout” and “We Go Together.”
The story ends on the last day of school when Danny, having traded his black leather jacket for his varsity letter sweater, is shocked when Sandy arrives with a new hairstyle and dressed in black leather. “Grease” takes you back in time to a gauzy vision of the 1950s, complete with bobby socks, school dance competitions and cheerleaders. 
The VUHS production of “Grease” is directed by Bill Carmichael Walsh and choreographed by Susan Burk Walsh. The producer/music director is Susan O’Daniel and the vocal director is Liana Fitt. The student stage manager is Sadie Kass. “Grease” was written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey and is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students with reserved seating and are available at Everywhere for Everybody in Vergennes and at the VUHS auditorium lobby, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-noon and evenings. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information, call VUHS at 877-2938.
Come join the talented cast and crew of almost 100 students who have been working very hard since September to bring this production to life. This November, “Grease” is the word! 

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