For the weekend of April 21-23, the stage of Viewpoint’s Carlson Family Theater was a time machine transporting a very enthusiastic audience of family and friends back to Rydell High School circa 1959. More than 40 cast and crew members in the Upper School, devoted months to creating an unforgettable production of one of the world’s most popular musicals, Grease.
From the duck-tailed, hot-rodding "T-Birds" to their gum-snapping, hip-shaking "Pink Ladies" in bobby sox and pedal pushers, this rollicking musical evokes the look and sound of the 1950s and the Viewpoint performers embraced it all with an enthusiasm that delighted the audience and lit up the theater. While head "greaser" Danny Zuko and new girl Sandy Dumbrowski tried to relive the high romance of their "Summer Nights," the rest of the gang sang and danced their way through such songs as "Greased Lightnin'," "There Are Worse Things I Could Do," and "We Go Together" recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley that became the soundtrack of a generation. And whether performing on their own or as part of the ensemble, the students dazzled with their singing ability and passion for the production.
Lisa Roskowinski, teacher of Middle and Upper School Theatre and the director, explained the enduring appeal of the musical. She said, “Grease pays affectionate homage to the bittersweet coming-of-age of a group of high school kids in the late 1950s told (with the exception of Miss Lynch) entirely by teenagers. It captures a moment in time right before America's tumultuous crossing over from the 50s to the 60s, throwing over repression and tradition for freedom and adventure. At the heart of the show is a human story about love, pride, and community: those themes are timeless. Everyone can relate to the first time they fell in love, got a car, or thought their friends would “always be together.” Our exuberant cast took to the characters and music of this era and became a tight-knit ensemble through the process. It was a pleasure working with this wonderful group of teenagers!”