On Stage in Natomas: Grease is the Word


Photo courtesy Natomas Charter School

Photo by Bill Silveira / Natomas Charter School

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Grab your best girl or guy and head back to Rydell High School, circa 1959, for dance, song and a whole lot of fun.

The Natomas Charter School’s production of Grease, one of Broadway’s longest-running musicals, opened at the Benvenuti Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Nov. 14 and will close Friday, Nov. 22.

It’s been 35 years since the film version was released and 42 years since Grease first played in Chicago, yet the stories of young love, peer pressure, moving into adulthood and school are still relevant.

Taking over the roles made famous by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the 1978 film version are Devin DeGeyter as Danny Zuco and Ashley Rosander as Sandy Dumbrowski. Marcy Maxey performs the role of Betty Rizzo and Rebel Samuelson steps in as Kenieki Murdoch.

Opening with an energy missing in many productions, the cast will have you tapping your toes, laughing and trying to resist singing along to favorites like “Summer Nights,” “We Go Together,” and perhaps the one song that will make you laugh until you weep, “Mooning.”

Always in the background, but never hidden from view is the live quartet, dressed, of course, in appropriate attire. Standing in the shadows is the disc jockey played by Willie Huggins, who has captured that era’s radio voice.

See how cool a simple pair of black and white sneakers can be, especially on a guy wearing denim with rolled-up hems and a leather jacket. It’s even possible that saddle shoes might make a comeback. Discover the secret about Sandy’s patent-leather shoes and who might be going to beauty school.

Since Natomas Charter School’s focus is on the performing and fine arts, rather than sports, there’s never been a proper homecoming event, until Grease, according to teacher and Associate Director Rick Gott. More than 100 students and educators from across the school’s disciplines came together to make Grease fun for everyone.

“The show has involved the entire school in many ways, most notably, of course, what you see on stage. The Dance, Music and Visual Arts Departments have all done more than their fair share to bring this show to life,” Gott said.

Tickets are available for pre-purchase online at a reduced rate ($10 – $12) or at the box office on the day of the show ($15 – $17). Remaining shows are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Nov. 16, 7 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 7 p.m. on Nov. 22.

The Benvenuti Performing Arts Center is located at 4600 Blackrock Drive, Sacramento, CA 95835. For more information, see www.benarts.org.

Director: Karen Pollard
Producing Agency: NAEF
Choreography: Jill Stripling, Devin Lepage, Ron Cisneros
Vocal Director: Kelly Cullity
Associate Director: Rick Gott

Photo courtesy Natomas Charter School

Photo by Bill Silveira / Natomas Charter School

Photo courtesy Natomas Charter School

Photo by Bill Silveira / Natomas Charter School

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