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Members of the Londonderry High School Drama Club rehearsed the song “Summer Nights” inside the Derry Opera House Tuesday afternoon. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)

‘Grease’ is the word for LHS drama club


Though none of them were alive when the 1970s-era Broadway show &#';Grease&#'; first hit the stage, members of the Londonderry High School drama club are more than ready to take on the beloved musical.
“We’ve all seen the movie so many times,” said senior Stephanie Conte, who was cast with the role of the sweet-talking, beauty-school dropout Frenchy in the school’s upcoming production. “Now we’re making it our own.”

Next week the curtains will rise on the drama club’s latest production, with several performances planned for the beloved musical love story about streetwise greaser Danny and naïve exchange student Sandy.

This is the school’s first time performing “Grease” since 2008.

Like Conte, most of the 30 or so cast members have seen the 1979 film starring Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing.Senior Erin Conte (Stephanie’s sister), a veteran drama club member playing the role of Marty, said she’s giving her character her own personal touches.“Acting is partly about interpreting the character,” she said. “That’s probably been the most fun part of the whole process.”Acting in his first musical is senior Matt Brown, who said he’s been thoroughly enjoying his role as the nerdy Eugene.

“I’m trying to be as dorky as possible,” Brown said with a laugh.

Watching different productions of this play on YouTube served as further inspiration, he said.

All three young actors agreed they’d be interested in pursuing their dramatic aspirations during their college years, if only as a hobby.

“I’m going to Syracuse next year, and I hear they have a great theater program,” Brown said.

Headlining the show are students Alexis Morgan and Jonah Bencal, who will portray the lead characters Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbrowski.

Guidance counselor Valerie Nelson, who serves as the drama club’s staff adviser, said several dozen other students have been involved in creating the colorful stage sets, which include a full-sized red hot rod car for the “Greased Lightning” song and dance scene.

A dozen or so band members are playing in the orchestra, where they’ll set the stage for other familiar tunes like “Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Summer Loving,” and “Grease is the Word.”

Performances of “Grease” are scheduled for Feb. 12-15 at the Derry Opera House, located at 29 W. Broadway in Derry.

Evening shows are at 7 p.m. each day, with a matinee show on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for students, staff members and senior citizens and $15 for general admission.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call the school at 432-6941, ext. 2129.


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