LIVINGSTON, NJ – Livingston High School’s March 14 performance of “Grease” was sold out 20 minutes before it was set to start, and extra chairs were added in the front of the auditorium for the overflow.
The show starred Jared Goldsmith as Danny Zuko, the leader of a pack of greasers, and Laney Silverman as Sandy Dumbrowski, a new girl to Rydell High School. The two had a brief relationship over the summer, and on the first day of school, they meet again. Throughout the show, Goldsmith and Silverman complimented each other on stage, singing harmonies well. One of the most popular songs from the play, “Summer Nights,” highlighted both actors’ vocal talents. Goldsmith’s enthusiasm spilled over to the other actors, especially during “Greased Lightnin.” Silverman’s talent showed during “Hopelessly Devoted,” where her emotion carried throughout the song.
Greasers Josh Young (Doody) and Jared Kirsch (Sonny) added the necessary harmonies with great success. Brandon Binsol (Roger), who also played Teen Angel later in the show, had impressive comedic timing. Anthony Vecchio, whose acrobatics gained cheers from the crowd, showed unexpected emotion as Kenickie.
Pink Ladies Ana Talamas (Marty) and Jessica Silverman (Frenchy) had beautiful pacing and rhythm in both their acting and singing that helped many of the other actors throughout the play. Bailey Grey’s comedic timing as Jan was executed well, especially in some of the more serious scenes. Alexis Wasserman’s Rizzo was a convincing blend of tough and sensitive, along with a terrific voice.
Throughout the play, all of the actors, singers and dancers continued to impress the audience, who responded eagerly to the performance. After the performance, music director Michael Jedwabnik said, “It’s always fun to see a show come together, especially this year because of the snow. The energy of the crowd really rubbed off on the performers. It made for a special evening.”
Director Janene DePalo, who has been working with Livingston High School Theatre for four years, was pleased with the performance. “They were full of energy,” she said after the performance. “It seemed like every cast member was enjoying themselves and doing what they love. I’m proud of how far they have come.”
Ken and Bridgette Nevola, whose daughter was in the ensemble, enjoyed the play. “The music was very cool,” they agreed. “[The cast and crew] had lots of limitations from missed rehearsals due to snow. But the level of talent on the stage was amazing.”
The talent showcased on stage extended beyond the actors, from the stage manager, senior Samantha Brown; to the technical director and the set builders, who built sets on wheels and sets with moving parts; to the choreographer, Gina Montalto, who created dances that showed off the talents of many students; to the pit crew, who plays live every night, after hours of practice with the actors to get the parts correct. Other people whose talent often goes overlooked included the lighting crew (including the lighting designer who filled in as an understudy at Friday’s performance after a cast member fell ill), who hung and designed lights for hours; the sound crew, who monitored multiple microphones at a time; the running crew, who did most of their work on a dark stage; and the costume and make up crews, who made the students look good.
“Grease” will be performed at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. All tickets are $12. Both shows are likely to sell out, according to the parents who were selling tickets tonight.
To read more about the cast click here.