In case you’ve forgotten the Rydell High alma mater, the students at Stamford High are here to remind you. This year’s spring musical is none other than “Grease“ with a cast of almost 45 students opening this weekend.
The popular show brought a lot of attention at auditions, Tom DeSalvo, director and producer of the show, told Patch.
“This show in particular brought a lot of kids out, and many of the leads are freshman and sophomores,” he said. DeSalvo is an accountant for Childcare Learning Centers in Stamford, but has been involved in theater since his days at Stamford High School, where he graduated in 2000. He is now an advisor with the Strawberry Hill Players, the school’s drama club, and volunteers at Curtain Call.
Sean Ormond and Katherine Breen —both seniors— play the leads as heartbreaker Danny and sweet Sandy. The T-bird crew is played by Bennett Leeds as Kenickie, Brendan George as Doody, Jeffrey Rich as Roger and Matt Sweeney as Sonny. The Pink Ladies is lead by Brittany Duffin as Rizzo, Jennifer Sapozhnikov as Frenchy, Erin Altieri as Marty and Kathleen Clark as Jan.
The show features every infamous Grease show tune, including two more added by DeSalvo.
“‘Hopelessly Devoted’ and ‘You’re the One that Want’ weren’t originally in the play, but I really like those songs so we got the rights to use them from Unichappel Music Inc., which owns them,” he said.
Leather jackets, Converse sneakers, Pink Lady embroidered coats, long poodle skirts and others 1950s gear are just some of the costumes sported by the students. The set, also built by the students, shifts subtly to become a school yard, burger joint, dance hall or Frenchy’s bedroom for the Pink Lady sleepover. Claudia Noel Nerreau, faculty advisor for the Strawberry Hill Players, oversaw both the costumes and set of the show. Nerreau also steps on stage as Miss Lynch.
Despite the widespread popularity of Grease, DeSalvo says the cast found ways to make the show its own.
“We added a few things, such as the slideshow in the opening reunion scene,” he said. The slideshow shows vintage-looking black and white pictures of students from Rydell straight from the Stamford cast.
The show at Stamford High School will be performed on May 6, 7, 13, and 14 at 8 p.m. There is one matinee performance May 14 at 2 p.m. and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Live Strong. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $15 for adults. They can be purchased in advance on the Strawberry Hill Players Web site.