Back in time with Manhasset High’s ‘Grease’

At left, Doody (Max Rho) impresses Frenchy (Caitlyn DiGia) as the cast looks on in Manhasset Secondary School's production of "Grease." (Photo by Sean Haggerty)

Audiences were transported back to the 1950s in Manhasset High School’s recent production of the beloved musical Grease.

Over 80 students and teachers from Manhasset Secondary School were involved in the show, which ran from Nov. 21 to 24. It featured amazing acting, singing and dancing as well as spectacular sets and over 200 costumes, most of which were made by parents and students. The student pit orchestra played with a skill beyond their years.

A highlight of the production set was a full-sized replica of the car “Greased Lighting,” a deluxe convertible which, according to its self-titled song, was “automatic, systematic and hydromatic.” It was owned by the character Kenickie and, with the look and feel of a real car, was the centerpiece of the show.

Grease opened on Broadway in 1972 and ran until 1980. There were Broadway revivals in 1994 and 2007 as well as countless regional tours. In 1978, Grease was made into a blockbuster movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Many of the show’s musical numbers remain popular to this day.

The show captured the energy and humor of the 1950s, but also addressed real-life issues that the young characters were facing.

Christopher Hale, director of Fine and Performing Arts at Manhasset High School, said of the production: “Grease brought to the fore a portrayal of teenage life in the post-war era that was usually not openly discussed, and certainly never before in a musical comedy. Our students and faculty worked for months to bring this piece of American musical theater history to life for our Manhasset community. I believe that everyone who saw the show was most impressed with the results.”

Submitted by Kathy Wummer

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