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'Grease' is the word at Mt. Pleasant

| Saturday, March 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
MARILYN FORBES I FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Ryley Anderson sings along with other cast members during a recent sneak preview of the Mt. Pleasant's production of 'Grease.'

It is said that good things come to those who wait, and if the adage is true, then those who have waited for decades for the spring musical to return to Mt. Pleasant are in for a great treat as a full-staged show is planned for Friday and Saturday.

The school district will present the fun and entertaining production of “Grease” as its first musical staged in the district in over 30 years.

“We are thrilled to see a musical returning to the district after all these years,” Mt. Pleasant Area Superintendent Terry Struble said. “I have been hearing a great deal of feedback from people in the community who are looking forward to this, and I think it's such a great opportunity for our students.”

Directed by Rich Bair and Barbara Rolla, who is also serving as the show's choreographer, the show is the school version of the popular musical that has been deemed more appropriate for audiences of all ages.

“The school version is a little more toned down and is much better for all ages,” Bair said, adding that the story is the same but a few songs will not be included in the show.

“It's a good version for us to work with and one that I think everyone will enjoy.”

The directors have staged plays for the district but this is the first foray into the musical world.

“It's what we have wanted to do from the beginning,” Bair said of doing a musical. “We always wanted to try a musical, but we had to show that there was interest first.

About 30 students make up the cast, and all have been working for months to bring the production together.

“It's coming along,” Bair said. “The kids are working hard, but it could always be better.”

Junior Ryley Anderson, 17, landed the role of bad boy “Kenickie,” a member of the “T-Birds” group, and is happy to be a part of the cast who will be bringing the rebirth of the school musical back to Mt. Pleasant.

“I'm really excited,” Anderson said, adding that he has been a part of the shows that the directors have done in the past. “I really wanted to do a musical, and it's really been a lot of fun.”

Anderson said that the cast is working hard toward perfecting the show, and he is enjoying the experience.

“We have become more of a family than just a cast,” Anderson said.

“We started out as just a group of friends and now we are more like one big family.”

The popular musical is set in the 1950s, and the group has received help with props and costuming from several area schools and theaters.

Working around the weather, which has offered delays and cancellations, the cast is moving toward opening night and the revival of an old school staple that could become a new district tradition.

“This is a show that appeals to everybody,” Bair said. “It's a great family show, and I really want to encourage people to come and see the talent here.”

“Grease” will presented at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and also at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets for the show will be $5 for adults and $3 for students.

There is also a special dinner and theater package available for Saturday's 7 p.m. show being offer in conjunction with Grille 31 for $18, which includes dinner, served before or after the show, tax and gratutity, and a show ticket.

For reservations for the dinner and theater package, call 724-547-4330.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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