The students of Drama Club bring everything you could want from a high school musical with their spring production of Grease. The cast of about 50 presents the classic Good Girl Gone Bad musical with energy, enthusiasm, and some genuinely funny moments.
The cast’s energy is reflective of their Director, teacher Gerry Wiener. During a recent dress rehearsal he tirelessly ran around the theatre before the show and danced to a blues riff the on-stage band played for sound check. He’s obviously comfortable onstage. His ability to project his voice in staccato, enunciated tones over the sound of his cast is reflective of his own theatrical training and experience.
In a lot of ways High School Drama hasn’t changed much. Drama kids are still quirky and loquacious. Some stand out more than others, and some have great ambitions, such as Julliard. Costumes are still improvised, (kudos for the clever use of empty toilet paper rolls) and the school piano still has one or two keys that are slightly out of tune. Each student has a role be it as a member of the ensemble, a lead role, a member of the band or as a techie.
But in other ways Drama has evolved by leaps and bounds. Backstage, students help each other with makeup and costumes, but also with wireless body microphones. The set was built and painted by students, but for at least one scene a computer projected image take the place of a painted backdrop.
The production is entirely student run including marketing, lights, sound and music. The on-stage band, wearing ruffled shirts and jackets is led by a watchful student conductor who takes a lot of her cues from the action on stage.
Overall the cast does a good job of creating a genuine atmosphere on stage, and makes use of the entire theatre for some of the musical numbers. The cast really delivers for the big numbers with fun and energetic choreography. Those playing in lead roles do well at making well known characters easily recognizable while still making them their own. Most notable was Jenny Oertel who plays an especially winning Frenchy. Not bad considering that these kids are putting on a play from the last century set in a time that’s at least 20 years before most of their parents were born.
The Alhambra High School Drama Club production of Grease runs April 14, 15, 16, 21,22, & 23 at the Alhambra High School Theater. Tickets range from $8 presale for the first weekend’s performances to $12 at the door for the second weekend. Performance time for all shows is 7PM. Tickets are available online, at the door or by calling 313-0440, ext. 2010.