'Grease' is the word
Math and Science Academy freshman Contessa Boorman grew up watching "Grease" starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.
"'Grease' has been one of my favorite movies since I was a little girl," she said. "I used to watch the movie every weekend. It's always been one of my favorite shows."
Boorman will be helping to bring "Grease" to life later this month for MSA's spring musical. The show opens May 31 at the Maplewood Performing Arts Center.
"It's a very fun show - high energy, lots of fun," director Joshua Campbell said. "You can't beat it."
"Grease" tells the story of good girl Sandy and "greaser" Danny, who meet over the summer. When Sandy and Danny realize that they are in fact in the same high school, problems arise. The story follows Sandy and Danny as they try to overcome the social pressures of high school.
"It's just a good story," Campbell said. "It's two people from different worlds and how they connect. I think we all have these high school experiences and everyone can relate to them - we've all been there."
MSA music director Jerry Shelton said he chose "Grease" for this year's musical because it was a show the school had never done before.
"It seemed like something that would appeal to the kids," he said.
Additionally, Shelton said he thought it would be fun for students to delve into the "greaser" side of high school.
"It's a fun show and it gives them a chance to stretch and do characters that they don't do, that they don't know," he said.
MSA senior Anish Chandak, who will be playing the role of Danny, said he is excited about bringing such an iconic character to life.
"It's a lot to live up to," he said. "We want to make sure we meet that standard as well."
Boorman said she looked to both the movie and the Broadway versions of "Grease" for inspiration.
"It's so much fun to try and see what you can bring to them," she said. "I tried to incorporate myself into the character a little bit."
Chandak said he is looking forward to opening night.
"I'm looking forward to having a live audience and presenting everything that we put all this time and effort into," he said.
End of an era
"Grease" marks the last production the school will do in cooperation with Ashland Productions.
Since the school opened, MSA has worked with Ashland Productions on its spring musicals because the school doesn't have the space for a full theater production.
However, with the new MSA addition slated to open in the fall, all the school's theater production will be able to be moved under the new roof.
"It will be kind of exciting to do it ourselves," Shelton said. "Despite all of the pitfalls, it'll still be kind of cool to see what happens with it."
Shelton said he expects audiences to greatly enjoy "Grease."
"Audiences will be walking out of the theater whistling tunes and singing them," he said. "They'll be really excited when they leave."
Math and Science Academy's production of "Grease" will run May 31 to June 1 and June 7-8 at 7 p.m. at the Maplewood Performing Arts Center, 2100 White Bear Ave. in Maplewood. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the Ashland Productions website, www.ashlandproductions.com