The play, presented by the Muhlenberg County High School Drama Department, complete with a cast of around 60, plus a live band, came off with all the talent and fast-paced professionalism of a Broadway production.
After the massive shuffling of show dates since the original scheduled show dates in mid-February, the play finally made it to the stage for two shows Saturday and a Sunday matinee.
Leslie England, director of the massive undertaking, refused to not let the show go on, even after the original show dates were snowed out in February.
By the time the play reached the stage this past weekend, there had been a total of 27 cancelled practices due to snow. A last minute change in the show dates allowed for some additional practices, and the cast never missed a beat.
In a special Note From the Director inside the production's program, England thanked and commended the cast and crew.
"Our students have faced long auditions, demanding rehearsals, snow days, cancelled rehearsals, tragedy, and finally, postponement of the show dates," England said. "Through it all, the cast has steadily worked through the tumultuous waves of emotions. It hasn't been easy. We dedicate this production to our friends who were victims of the tragic fire," England said, referring to the Watson family, who lost 9 family members on January 30.
England noted in the program that one of the children lost in the fire "was a drama student and an enthusiastic supporter of this production."
Although the play was school drama department production, the project turned into a true community effort, noted Martin Hall facility manager, David Probus in remarks to the audience before the play began.
"We truly could not have brought this play to this stage if not for so many people and businesses in the community," said Probus, who took on the huge task of being the show's producer.
Once the stage lights went up, the 1950s high school musical we all know and love never missed a beat. From the complex choreography, directed by Melanie Boggess, to realistic sets depicting Rydell High School, along with numerous sets, many rolled on and off the stage for various scenes.
From the opening song, "Summer Nights", the play featured non-stop, complex singing and dancing to the Grease classics. The play's groups, divided into the Pink Ladies and The "T" Birds, sang and danced for two hours, and never missed a beat.
The crowd seemed to love the many high points in the production. The effects of clouds and blinding light filling the stage as the Teen Angel, Thad Mayhugh, and the angel chorus, sang one of the shows many favorites, "Beauty School Dropout."
Jeff Dickenson, a long time supporter and participant in many live productions in the county over the years, appeared as DJ Vince Fontaine.
SurfKY News Reporter
Photos by Paul McRee
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