It Came Together in Grease
AUDIENCES LOVED GREASE
It was unanimous. Audiences loved Grease, this year’s Middle School musical production, and there is little wonder why. Breakout performances by the eighth-, seventh-, and sixth-graders in lead roles, supported by a fine ensemble cast, delivered outstanding singing, amazing dancing, impressive acting, and entertaining comedy.
The musical Grease depicts teens in transition from the traditional values and ethics of the simpler 50s to the revolutionary 60s. New girl at Rydell High, Sandy Dumbrowski must find her niche in society, somewhere between the tricky cliques of Pink Ladies Marty, Frenchy, Jan, and Rizzo, and the awkward swagger of the T-Birds Kenieke, Sonny, Roger, Doody, and especially Danny. However, everyone, even the less-than-cool-kids, must adjust to the changes as American pop culture is about to be turned upside down.
Sayville Middle School students performed with enthusiasm. Each favorite musical number delighted by either pulling at heartstrings or tickling funny bones: Congratulations to the following cast members for their remarkable contributions on stage:
- Allison Lynn’s extraordinary singing voice, especially In Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted, and You’re the One that I Want, was a perfect match for the role of Sandy.
- Anna Crisalli delivered Rizzo’s tough, sarcastic act with stunning renditions of Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee and There are Worse Things I Could Do that gave her character heart and soul.
- Leading her Pink Ladies in the wistful and wonderful Freddy My Love, Isabella Arzt portrayed the envy of teenage sophistication and grace as Marty.
- With comic timing (Beauty School Drop Out) and quality backup singing in Freddy My Love, Angelina Salemi played a very sympathetic Frenchy, the only one of the Pink Ladies who drops out of high School for beauty school until a visit from Teen Angel sets her straight.
- Another of the Pink Ladies, Jan portrayed by Caterina Harris was sweet and funny especially in her duet with Roger in the song Mooning.
- Gabby Luthy gave audiences a Patty who was delightfully annoying as the overconfident and overbearing cheerleader with a serious crush on Danny.
- Impressive Olivia Reiss entertained audiences as Miss Lynch, the prim Head Mistress who lets loose at the High School Hop.
- Michelle Buono (Dance Captain of the ensemble) as Cha Cha danced her way into everyone’s hearts with her amazing performance in Born to Hand Jive.
- With charm and youthful appeal, Aidan Deverna, a solid performer as the number-one T-Bird Danny, gave great renditions of Summer Nights, Alone at the Drive-in Movie, and You’re the One That a I Want.
- Alex Maksimiak delivered a convincing Kenieke, the second-in-command of the “T-Birds, who earned his bragging and singing rights for his amazing Grease Lightning.
- Shaun Gibbons, in the role of wannabe ladies’ man, tough-guy Sonny, maximized his comic talents to great effect throughout the show, but his dynamic performance as Teen Angel in Beauty School Drop Out was unforgettable!
- Hunter Caiazzo offered a stirring Roger who crooned to swoon Jan, especially in his delightful performance of Mooning.
- Christopher Quartuccio was amusing as the bemused T-Bird Doody who learned not only the chords to the song Those Magic Changes, but the appealing power that music plays in every generation of teen.
- Evan Powers made a favorable impression with audiences as Eugene the nerd who couldn’t impress the girls.
- The ensemble cast, comprised of nearly sixty students, offered an energetic and supportive backdrop to the lead players and boosted the vibrancy of the whole production.
- On stage on a raised platform, the musicians Joe Loschiavo, Justin Marks, Amrom Svay, Conor Riccomini, and Mike LeVolpe, led by Musical Director Fred Diekmann on piano who was also the voice of radio disk jockey, were seamless in providing the music for the performers as well as during the interludes.
Kudos go to Director/Choreographer Kim Dufrenoy for her tremendous efforts in marshaling the student talent for this entertaining production, along with Musical Director Fred Diekmann, Producer Ari Kramer, Set Construction-Design-Stage Crew Director Ken Vanessendelt, Sound Director Andy Giammalvo, Lighting Director Steven Hailey, Lighting Technician J.D. Verbeck, and the entire Production Staff, stage crew, high school helpers, volunteers for helping the students, tickets, refreshments, and flowers. The lyrics in the finale song We Go Together characterizes the teams involved in producing the amazing Middle School musical, and at least in Sayville, “That’s the way it should be, oh yeah.”