Greased lightning

Published 4:32 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Burger Palace Boys take a first ride in Greased Lightning. Top row, left to right: Nick Rowland (Vince Fontaine), Maverick Yoder (Roger). Bottom row, left to right: Cabell Brand (Kenickie), Cade Underwood (Doody) and Cole Pellatt (Danny). (photo submitted)

PCHS Players present ‘Grease’ Friday, Saturday
When the PCHS production of GREASE opens on Friday night, one of the biggest stars of the show will be not a student, but a car.
“This is the fifth time I’ve directed a production of ‘Grease.’ The most difficult part of each production is finding a car that will work within the confines of the individual stage,” said director Donna Everett.
Unlike the movie, in the musical version of ‘Grease,’ Greased Lightning is never restored.
“It remains a junk heap throughout the musical, so finding the right car often results in a frustrating search,” Everett said.
Enter David Waldrop of Waldrop’s Restorations. Waldrop had a 1961 Impala Super Sport that he was using for scrap and offered to allow Everett to use the car in the production. However, the car was not a convertible, an absolute non-negotiable when dealing with stage lighting.
Waldrop proposed that the gang of young men in the show work together to remove the top of the car.
Cole Pellatt (Danny Zuko), Cabell Brand (Kenickie), Cade Underwood (Doody), Tanner Ramsey (Sonny) and Maverick Yoder (Roger) spent a Friday evening learning how to use an acetylene torch to remove the car top. Not only was the car top removed, but the hood was reinforced and a bench seat added to the stripped down vehicle.
“It was great fun. I think we all bonded that night. Having a real car makes the dance even better,” said Yoder.
Also taking a lead role in this year’s production is foreign exchange student Sihui “Helen” Li of China.
Li said preparing for the musical has been thrilling, even the long nights of rehearsals.
“Doing this play has really allowed me to make so many new friends,” Li said. “Myself and all the students playing the Pink Ladies have really bonded.”
Li said she’s loved to sing and performing on stage all her life. But she said she was nervous at the prospect of trying out for the play.
“I just thought, ‘I’m only here for one year, why not do something special,’” Li said. “I was incredibly surprised to get the lead, especially since before then I had never seen the movie.”
Li has now watched the movie three times and said it’s actually done a lot for her education because she’s learned a laundry list of English slang terms she never would have learned otherwise.
‘Grease’ opens this Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the high school. The musical continues on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available by calling 828-894-2525 ext. 261. Tickets will also be available at the door the nights of the show.
– article submitted

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