‘Grease’ is the word for Mainstage Center for the Arts

The musical choreographed by a Haddonfield resident runs July 22 to July 29 at Camden County College’s Dennis Flyer Theatre in Sicklerville.

Get ready to do the hand-jive, put on your bobby socks and celebrate teen life in the 1950’s with the kids from Rydell High as “Grease” takes the stage in this Mainstage Center for the Arts’ production. The musical runs July 22 to July 29 at Camden County College’s Dennis Flyer Theatre in Sicklerville.

Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, “Grease” originally ran on Broadway for eight years and has had two revivals, numerous international productions, a movie and live television event. The Mainstage production involves nearly 80 local actors and main parts are double-cast, and Kate Orlando of Haddonfield choreographs the production.

Packed with familiar songs including “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’” and “Beauty School Drop Out,” “Grease” follows a group of teens as they navigate high school love and life. The guys, the T-Birds, are led by Danny Zukko (Jared Camacho and Jake Ropka — both of Cherry Hill). His followers include Kenickie (Paul Sigall of Williamstown and Charlie Barney) Doody (Collin Correveau of Plainsboro and Andrew Ramos-Vassall of Atco), Rodger (Nick Flagg), and Sonny (Jacob Long of Haddon Heights and Lance Raikes of Williamstown).

“It’s a unique situation for me to play a character who’s familiar to everyone out there,” Camacho said. “I like working on Danny’s different dimensions such as when he plays it cool and holds back. He’s also a fun character to portray, especially when he’s messing around with the guys.”

“A good deal of portraying Danny is just silly,” Ropka said. “It’s a great summertime show.”

Danny’s life is turned upside down when his summer fling, Sandy Dumbrowski (Delaney Burke of Runnemede and Natasha Filipov of Washington Township) ends up being the new girl at school. Upon reuniting, he acts too cool for her. Sandy befriends the Pink Ladies — Rizzo (Jade Chandler of West Deptford and Meghan Kennedy of Deptford), Marty (Ashleigh Neilio of Magnolia and Kayleigh Corn of Washington Township), Frenchie (Kaitlin Bassi of Sicklerville and Laura DiStefano of Bellmawr) and Jan (Kaylee Coratto of Marlton and Lindsey Sowers of Williamstown).

The Pink Ladies advise Sandy about the romance as Danny and Sandy try to decide if they belong together.

“It’s so nice to come back to Mainstage this summer, where I grew up coming to Summer Stage,” Filipov said. “I’m excited to be part of this show, especially since it’s the first time Mainstage has ever done Grease.”

“In the play, Sandy is stronger than in the movie,” Burke said. “I like that about portraying her.”

Additional characters include: cheerleader Patty Simcox (Nicole Duffy of Williamstown and Maggie O’Connor of West Deptford), Cha Cha (Nadia Straciollini of Washington Township and Anaya Colon of Cherry Hill), Eugene (Jayson Borenstein of Cherry Hill), Teen Angel (Greg Harr), Miss Lynch (Marissa Wolf), Vince Fontaine (CJ Kish), Sheila (Kiara Johnson), Hero (Jack Granite) and Scientist (Joshua Wiggins).

Grease is directed by Angela Longo.

“Grease is such a fun show with fantastic dance numbers and music that everyone enjoys,” Longo said. “The cast is having a great time exploring life in the 1950’s as they prepare for the performance. We’ve been talking about the gender roles and sexism of that time and comparing how society today is much more socially aware. Presenting Grease today naturally lends itself to satire, and we’re taking that on a bit. It will be fun for the audience.”

Spend some summer nights, or an afternoon, watching “Grease.” It runs July 22, 28 and 29 at 7:30 pm and July 23 at 2 p.m. For tickets visit www.mainstage.org. or call (856) 227–3091.