By JEROD CLAPP
SELLERSBURG — The T-Birds and their main squeezes will hit the stage starting tonight in Silver Creek High School’s production of “Grease.”
It features a cast of more than 30 students and a graduate who has gone on to work in theater productions across the country and start his own production company. A story set in the 1950s about two teenage lovebirds who share a summer love takes a turn when they find out they’re going to the same high school.
Alonzo Richmond, the school’s theater director, said fans of Broadway and the silver screen will find elements from both versions of the show in his production.
“This is a good mix of the movie and the Broadway show,” Richmond said. “I wanted to stick to the show, but I know the audience would expect a little John Travolta. I think it was more of a challenge than some of [the students] expected because it’s a show everyone knows, so that makes it hard to make your own adaptation of it.”
But students in the production said they’re confident in their castmates’ abilities and what audiences will see.
Abby Bauerla, a sophomore who plays Miss Lynch, said cast members really help set the production apart from what audiences have already seen.
“I think it’s honestly the people we have in the show,” Bauerla said. “We have a lot of talented people on stage, so when you put that together, it makes for an amazing show.”
Arielle Conrad, a freshman who plays Marty, said it’s exciting for her to join the cast in showing off all of their skills.
“I like the support we get from the community and that we get to show everyone what we’re made of,” Conrad said. “We don’t get to do a lot of musicals that have a lot of straight acting like this, so we’re really excited.”
Sami Weathersby, a freshman who plays Patty Simcox, said she thinks audiences will really enjoy the dances and humor in the show.
“I would definitely say our musical numbers and comedic moments are the strongest part of the show,” Weathersby said. “I think what stands out to an audience is what makes it laugh, so we have a lot of funny moments and funny people.”
But someone who’s coming back to Silver Creek’s stage for the first time in years said he’s a little timid about working in the place that helped him get a start in professional theater.
Robert Shaw, a 1997 graduate of the school, plays Teen Angel in the show. He said he’s impressed with the work students have done at his alma mater.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking because I used to do so much here,” Shaw said. “This place was sort of the springboard for my career. I also want to make sure the experience of students working with me is good for them; I know they really busted their humps on this one.”