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Vincentian's T-Birds, Pink Ladies head to the stage

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal
Senior Mackenzye Santos of McCandless (left), an ensemble member, and jJunior Natasha Kerr of Ross Township, playing Cha-Cha, dance to the song 'We Go Togethe,' on Feb. 4, 2014, during a rehearsal of the musical 'Grease' at Vincentian Academy in McCandless.
Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal
Senior Lauren Donatelli of Ross Township (left), playing Miss Lynch; sophomore Breanna Byce of Ross, potraying Rizzo; and junior Natasha Kerr of Ross, playing Cha-Cha, dance to the song 'We Go Together' on Feb. 4, 2014, during a rehearsal of the musical 'Grease' at Vincentian Academy in McCandless.
Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal
Senior Bridget Jones of Marshall Township portrays Marty Maraschino on Feb. 4, 2014, during a rehearsal of the musical 'Grease' at Vincentian Academy in McCandless.
Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal
Sophomore Anthony Della Valle of Shaler (left), portraying Danny, and freshman Jake Lalonde of Ross Township, portraying Sonny, practice their lines Feb. 4, 2014, during a rehearsal of the musical 'Grease' at Vincentian Academy in McCandless.
Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal
Sophomore Anthony Della Valle of Shaler (right), playing Danny, and junior Natalie Hanna, playing Sandy, practice their lines Feb. 4, 2014, during a rehearsal of the musical 'Grease' at Vincentian Academy in McCandless.
Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal
Senior Lauren Donatelli of Ross Township (left), portraying Miss Lynch; sophomore Breanna Byce of Ross, playing Rizzo; and junior Natasha Kerr of Ross, portraying Cha-Cha leap jump into the air while performing the song 'We Go Together' on Feb. 4, 2014, during a rehearsal of the musical 'Grease' at Vincentian Academy in McCandless.

Students at Vincentian Academy in McCandless rehearsed for months in the school cafeteria and danced around chairs and tables that stood in for set pieces while preparing for this year's musical, “Grease.”

But starting Feb. 21, the 33-student cast will perform on stage with sets designed to look like a beauty salon, high school halls and a garage with the iconic “Greased Lightning” car at the Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center in Ross Township.

“What's nice about this show is that it has a lot of main characters, a lot of solos, and a lot of singing and dancing. It's also a great ensemble show,” director Lauren Sarazen said.

“They've been challenged a lot.”

Students will perform the “school version” of the musical “Grease” that has the same music and story line as the Broadway show and movie but has some different lyrics and other changes to make it more family friendly.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21, 22 and 28 and March 1, and at 2 p.m. Feb. 23.

Sarazen, 26, of Ross, said this is her second year as director of the Vincentian musical and first year working at Vincentian as an English and “Theory of Knowledge” teacher.

She said a record number of boys are in this year's production, and the small size of Vincentian's student body lends itself to the cast's sense of community.

“Because they're a small school, they're all very close with each other,” Sarazen said. “There's a strong bond already there.”

Cast member Nicole Kosuda, 17, of Pine Township, who will play beauty school dropout Frenchy, echoed that sentiment.

“We're all a family. We're all friends, and we're all really committed,” Kosuda said. “The final product is going to be really amazing.”

Vincentian senior Bridget Jones, 18, of Marshall Township, will play Marty Maraschino in this year's production, after performing the past three years in Vincentian's productions.

“I love the Vincentian program, mostly because of Lauren,” Jones said.

“Her choreography is really spot on.”

Vincentian hires a professional vocal coach and several professional musicians to play with the student orchestra, who will accompany the performers.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students. To buy tickets or find out more, call 412-364-1616, ext. 219, or visit Vamusical.org.

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or kshea@tribweb.com.

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