NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — The Masquers of West Essex High School will be performing the high school version of the family-friendly musical "Grease" as this year's spring musical. Performances will begin on Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. at West Essex High School and will run until Saturday, March 9.
Director Brittany Miller said that it has been a tremendous experience getting to watch this year's cast and crew work together.
"There is this certain type of chemistry amongst the groups, both as individuals and all together," said Miller. "We have a wonderful group of seniors in this year's performance."
The cast includes seniors Madelin Morales as Sandy, Elaina Ragusa as Jan and Kate Zincone as Frenchy. Miller noted that this would be Zincone's "first and sadly last Masquers performance."
Morales said her favorite part of this classic story is the music, stating that "getting to sing music that everyone in the audience knows and becoming the iconic characters that we all grew up watching in the movie has been a cool experience.”
Also among the cast of seniors in this year's performance are Kristen DeAngelis and Kaitlin Manley as Pink Ladies, Samantha Haas as Johnny Casino and Meghan Cheung and Noelle Girardo as ensemble members.
Sophomore Grant King, playing Danny Zuko, said he is thrilled for the opportunity to portray a character based in the 1950s, adding that the cast members are “excited to get to add [their] own ideas about what the 1950s were like into [their] characters.”
“This year’s musical was chosen specifically as a fan favorite," said Miller. "The students are excited to become the characters that they have watched from one of their favorite musical movies.”
Miller added that the cast has been working diligently to rehearse and prepare for such a large show, as “there are so many different elements that go into this production."
"The students are all very excited to have their friends, families and community see all the hard work that has gone into putting the show together,” said Miller, who also explained that a little bit of West Essex High School in the set. "The majority of the set has been built and designed by students under the direction of Mr. Lee Oberg and each part of the set has a little bit of a West Essex touch to it. I am specifically excited about the set that was built for Marty’s bedroom, as well as our made-from-scratch 'Greased Lightnin’ car."
The Masquers of West Essex encourage community members to attend and support this year's spring musical as well as the high school's drama program.
"The students were specifically excited about working on 'Grease' as our musical for this year because it was selected as a fan favorite," said Miller. "Everyone knows the popular songs from the movie soundtrack, like 'Summer Lovin,’ 'Hopelessly Devoted to you' and 'You’re the One that I Want.' The students are so excited to be able to perform these audience favorite songs and get people out of their seats to 'Hand Jive' with the cast."
Performances will be held at the West Essex High School auditorium (65 West Greenbrook Road in North Caldwell) on March 7, March 8 and March 9 at 7 p.m. with a matinee on March 9 at 1 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Advanced tickets are available for purchase HERE.
Tickets may also be purchased on the days of the performances at the door at an increased price of $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.
Donations to the Masquers of West Essex can be made HERE. All proceeds will benefit the current Masquers production of "Grease."
About West Essex Spring Musical Grease (School Edition):
It’s 1959 and Rydell High School is in rare form.
"Grease" follows the lives of the duck-tailed, hot-rodding Burger Palace boys and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking Pink Ladies of Rydell High’s senior class of 1959. When new student Sandy Dumbrowski arrives at Rydell, after spending her summer with unknowingly popular Burger Palace Boy Danny Zuko, tension arises when Sandy is happy to see him again, but Danny plays it cool.
Sandy joins Pink Ladies Rizzo, Jan, Frenchy and Marty at Rydell to try and fit in with the cool kids, but finds herself struggling to do so. Danny continually tries to win back Sandy’s affection but keeps making the wrong decisions.
Can Danny maintain his cool status around Sonny, Roger, Doody and Kenickie and still make modest Sandy his girl?