‘Grease’ is the word at Elk Lake

Dana Nunemacher and Travis Tewksbury, as Sandy and Danny, in Elk Lake High School production of “Grease.”

Dana Nunemacher and Travis Tewksbury, as Sandy and Danny, in Elk Lake High School production of “Grease.”

For the first time in more than 10 years, Elk Lake Drama Club is performing a Broadway Show with this week’s staging of the iconic musical, “Grease.”
Grease is a 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The musical, set in 1959 at the fictional Rydell High School, follows 10 teenagers as they navigate high school, friendship, and love.
Travis Tewksbury, who appears as Danny Zuko, has been in 13 Elk Lake productions. Shortly before this show, he injured his leg and has been rehearsing in a splint.
“I’m taking it off for performances, but keeping the splint on the rest of the time for the next few weeks,” he said. “I’m not allowed to bear weight on it.”
Dana Nunamacher, who plays the lead role of Sandy, said she loves the songs.
“Sandy is a timeless girl,” she said. “She was trapped inside of a good girl act in the beginning. By the end, she changes not for the boy, but because he showed her a different side of life, and she found a different side of herself.”
Hannah Decker plays Marty Maraschino the boy crazy Pink Lady and if a guy is around, her character “has to show off.”
“She’s more or less loyal with friends, but not with guys,” she said.
Will Farnelli is Danny’s greaser friend Sonny. “He’s a flirt who thinks he’s better at it than he actually is,” he said. “But in the end, he gets the girl,” meaning Marty. His favorite song is “Alone at the Drive In.”
With a hammer in his hand, he notes, “We somehow managed to find weapons for the gang rumble scene that are lamer than the ones in the script.” Jeryn DeLong brandishes a wood ruler, and Justin Grosvenor, a broom.
Tewksbury, Farnelli and Grosvenor are the senior members of the cast. Grosvenor is a home-schooled student who participates in drama club and other activities at Elk Lake.
Reilly Shingler, who plays the infamous Rizzo, was transformed by the adult cosmetology students at the SCCTC. Shingler said that her long brown hair was not cut short, but rather put up in pin curls. “There were about 95 hairpins in my hair,” she said.
Colin Schake plays the “Teen Angel” who sings “Beauty School Drop Out” to Frenchie, played by Jacqueline Gesford. “I sing to Frenchie to get her to change her mind, but it doesn’t work,” he said.
In its record-breaking original Broadway production, Grease was a raunchy, raw, aggressive, vulgar show. Subsequent productions sanitized it and tamed it down.
Elk Lake is performing the school version of the show, which Braddish noted during a grade school preview day has been modified, and questionable language, violence, and other “mature” topics have been removed to make it appropriate for a younger cast and audience.
“We cleaned it up a little bit,” she said to the elementary students. “You have your red ribbons on today, and since alcohol is a kind of drug, any reference like that has been removed.”
The finger-snapping, catchy songs have not.
The cast has taken on the challenge of music from another era of high school, that of their grandparents.
Grease will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Elk Lake High School auditorium. Tickets are $3 in advance and at the door.

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