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AURORA -- Summer love goes back to school when Aurora Community Theatrepresents the rollicking musical "Grease" June 30 to July 15 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and July 9 at 3 p.m.
The spirited musical with a 50s soundtrack features book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey and John Farrar. Set in 1959, the lively plot revolves around new girl Sandy Dumbrowski (Hannah Gang) fictional Rydell High's coolest "greaser" Danny Zuko (Anthony Covatta), who enjoy a secret summer romance.
When they head back to school, everything is different. Sandy attempts to navigate Rydell's tricky social waters and keep her romance alive, while, Danny is focused on keeping-up his tough-guy reputation.
Marc C. Howard directs and choreographs this look at 10 working-class teens as they make their way through the complexities of peer pressure, politics, personal core values and love.
D. Keith Stiver is the musical director and accompanist. Howard and Rebecca Gang are co-producers, with Ann Nyenhuis as stage manager and set construction coordinator.
On hand to help Danny and Sandy maneuver the hazards of high school hierarchy are the duck-tailed, hot-rodding T-Birds -- Doody (Santino Palma), Roger (Nick Alder), Kenickie (John Kushan), Sonny LaTierri (David Rusnak) -- and their gum-smacking, bobbie-sox-wearing Pink Ladies -- Frenchy (Shelby Carlisle), Marty (Eve Regelbrugge), Betty Rizzo (Korinne Courtwright) and Jan (Katie Hintze).
The musical also features Miss Lynch (Evelyn M. DeLiso), Patty Simcox (Sophie Longo), Eugene Florczyk (David Ludick), Charlene "Cha Cha" DiGregorio (Jen Justice), Vince Fontaine (Michael Guffey) and Teen Angel (Brad Hills).
Kevin MacLeod designed the set. Steve Bowen was the scenic artist. Tara Codella designed the lighting and Sarah Kuchcinski will operate the light board. Maggie Hamilton is in charge of sound.
Marianne Paul will oversee costumes. DeLiso serves as assistant choreographer, April Sike as assistant stage manager, Marianne Gingras designed the poster and signs and CPH Communications manages marketing, box office and public relations.
Michelle Regelbrugge serves as board liaison, the set construction crew under Ann Nyenhuis included Jim Eller, Sarah Kuchcinski, Joe Mira, Marty Pekarcik, Neil Rubin, Dave Nyenhuis and Sike. Dave Nyenhuis and April Syke also serve on the running crew.
The orchestra is made up of Craig Carnes on saxophone, Rollin DeVere III on drums, Jonathan "Skip" Edwards on bass and Dustin Oliver on guitar.
The high-energy rock and roll hits in "Grease" like "Summer Nights" and "Greased Lightnin'" recall the sounds of Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Elvis Presley that became the soundtrack of a generation.
The play opened in 1971 in Chicago, moving to Broadway in 1972, where it enjoyed a 3,388-performance, eight-year engagement, making it, at that time, the longest running Broadway show. In 1978 it was made into a movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
With two Broadway revivals, extended runs and revivals in London's West End, along with countless school and community
productions, "Grease" is among the world's most popular musicals. It is presented by arrangement with Samuel French Inc.