Roseville students to perform ‘Grease’ musical

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 30, 2016

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ROSEVILLE — The Roseville High School drama club has announced that its spring production is “Grease: The Musical,” and dozens of students all the way down to the elementary level have been preparing for its April 28-29 show dates.

Drama Director Angie Houghton said the production has been in the works since December, when auditions were held. Following the Christmas break, students started rehearsals at least once a week, practicing more frequently as time has gone on, she said.

The musical is an adaptation of “Grease” with some minor tweaks from the famous movie version of the story. The play is set in the 1950s and is centered around a group of teenagers, notably a gang of greasers called the “T-Birds” and a clique of girls called the “Pink Ladies.”

Houghton said the production features 10 major roles — highlighting the characters of Sandy, Rizzo, Danny and Kenickie — along with 20 other students in minor roles. Additionally, elementary school students have been tapped to play angels in the “Beauty School Dropout” scene, while members of the high school band and choir are set to perform in the show too.

Even the high school’s auto shop is involved, Houghton said — they are working on a front end for the “greased lightning” car from the musical.

“We’re looking to get the teacher, (Paul Tregembo); we’re trying to convince him to come on stage in a cameo role in that scene,” Houghton said. “We’re trying to get as many people involved as we can.

“I like that it gave a lot of different opportunities to feature many students,” she added. “It’s not just one person carrying the show.”
Roseville High School junior Matthew Vodak is working on promotion and behind-the-scenes preparation for the musical, like costumes and props.

“Today we were just doing the barbershop scene, so we’re creating the capes and the hats that they have to wear,” Vodak said. “We got wrapping paper, towel holders and tinfoil, and we’re tying them to dying hair tapes. They’re going to look like curlers.”

He said dresses and the Pink Lady jackets were on their way as of March 23.

Vodak said he thinks adults who remember seeing the movie should particularly enjoy the show, as they watch their kids performing the music, songs and story live.

The two shows are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Roseville Middle School — chosen because its auditorium holds 1,000 attendees, Houghton said — though early visitors can partake in some “1950s diner” fare at the school’s student-run restaurant. Houghton said they will be serving milk shakes, cheeseburgers, french fries and a “blue plate special” that has not yet been finalized.

Tickets cost $10 at the door, though they can be purchased in advance online at www.rhsdrama.ticketleap.com for $7, or $8.35 including fees. The school is only putting on two shows due to the cost of getting the performance rights to “Grease,” Houghton said, adding that it costs around $5,000 for the royalty fees, and that one of the songs in the show was an additional $200.

That money came from sponsors and ticket sales from the drama club’s fall program, “The Princess Plays,” Houghton said, as the club does not have a defined budget from the district.

Roseville Middle School is located at 16250 Martin Road.

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