FORTVILLE — Danny will be there. Sandy, too. And Rizzo will show up — she’d never miss a chance to throw a wrench into the works.
If the first two names didn’t do the job, that last name probably eliminated any doubts as to what the subject is here: “Grease” the musical.
The show will be on stage this month at Ten West Center for the Arts in Fortville.
“I think it’s really relatable to high schoolers because all the roles are high school students,” director Andrew Okerson said, explaining why the show was selected. “We’re talking about young love, rebellion against parents and society, or just about growing up.”
Story continues below gallery
The cast will be comprised mostly of students from Mt. Vernon High School, where Okerson also is director of the theater department.
Ashley Fritz, a 16-year-old Mt. Vernon student, plays Sandy in the show. She said she likes the 1950s in general and “Grease” in particular.
“I like the clothes, and I like all the songs, and the setting, the diner,” Fritz said. “‘Grease’ has always been one of my favorite musicals … and Sandy has always been one of my dream roles. I feel like I can relate to her character.”
She noted, however, that she is more like Sandy in the first part of the show, and that she’ll have to work harder to present Sandy after her transformation near the end.
Fritz has had a taste of playing Sandy before; she sang “Hopelessly Devoted to You” at the Mt. Vernon High School talent show last year.
The character to whom she’ll be devoted in the Ten West production, Jake McCarty as Danny, is someone Fritz has performed with before, in the musicals “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” as well as in the play, “Medium Rare.”
Staging “Grease” in Ten West’s small theater will be a challenge, Okerson said, but it’s one that won’t crimp the show’s production value.
“We do all kinds of interesting things to make the space look larger,” he said, pointing out that the “famed Grease Lightning car will appear.”
The show is also will be a lot more family-friendly than the original show, Okerson said, noting that “a lot of the language and situations have been cleaned up.”
But the show still will deal with some mature subject matter, such as teen pregnancy and alcohol use, issues Okerson said he thinks are important to put out there so teens can make wise choices.
The show’s performers will be in full costume and makeup for the time period, including pompadours and poodle skirts, and a live five-piece band will provide the music.