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March 7, 2013

Well-Greased machine: Jeffersonville High School puts its spin on American classic

JEFFERSONVILLE — Greased Lightning will burn up the quarter mile on Jeffersonville High School’s stage in the school’s production of “Grease,” which opens Thursday night.

Michael Howard, theater director, said since there’s some mileage between now and the last time “Grease” was performed at the school, he thought the show would be welcomed by audiences.

“We wanted to show something that’s kind of an American classic,” Howard said. “It hasn’t been done here since the 80s, so we thought it was the right time for it.”

Howard said while the school’s production borrows from the Broadway musical and from the movie, the department wanted to showcase more students in the cast by using a little more of the stage version for their show.

“We kind of stylize it our way. It’s not just another production of ‘Grease,’ Howard said. “We try to put our Jeff High seal on things and not be cookie-cutter about it.”

Grace Lowe, a freshman who plays Sandy, said she thought the show’s choreography was really good, the music is bound to stand out, too.

“Our live band is in the whole show. I think that’s kind of unique from other performances,” Lowe said. “They’re the Juice Box Heroes, a local band in this area.”

Manny Salazar-Leija, a senior who plays Danny, said this is his first experience with theater since middle school and his first time as a lead on stage. He said with silver screen and classic stage elements incorporated, he thinks audiences will like the show no matter which version they’re used to.

“We do approach it in a lot of different ways, especially in the dances,” Salazar-Leija said. “We have some light sequences and especially in ‘Hopelessly Devoted,’ it’s really different. In my opinion, it’s better than the movie.”

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