St. Francis High presents an energetic ‘Grease’

St. Francis High School steps back in time and briefly morphs into Rydell High, when the school’s theater department presents the energetic 1950s musical “Grease.”

The T-Birds and the Pink Ladies perform in St. Francis High School theater department’s “Grease.” The show opens April 25. Photo courtesy of Ron Van Gilder

The T-Birds and the Pink Ladies perform in St. Francis High School theater department’s “Grease.” The show opens April 25. Photo courtesy of Ron Van Gilder

The show, with music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, opens Thursday, April 25 and runs for four performances.

“Grease is an audience favorite,” said director Glenn Morehouse Olson. “The music is contagious and this show is so full of energy, people can’t help but love it.”

The show gives students an opportunity to play characters of high school age, “which makes them immediately successful,” Morehouse Olson said.

Expect such songs as “Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “You’re the One That I want.”

The plots centers on the summer romance of an unlikely couple, bad boy Danny Zuko and good girl Sandy Dumbroski. Their worlds collide when they end up at the same high school in the fall. Add the Greasers and Pink Ladies who rule the school and you’ve got a wild-ride-of-a-musical. Journey back with these St. Francis thespians to a time of sock hops, drive-in movies and rock ‘n’ roll.

Morehouse Olson directs not only at SFHS, but also at District 15’s Summer Children’s Theatre. Among her recent productions are “Almost, Maine,” “Aladdin, Jr.,” “Curtains” and “Romeo and Juliet.” She has produced an original piece that ran at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and her original play “OurSpace” has been produced in a high school in China.

Morehouse Olson at the age of 12 fell in love with “Grease” when it first ran in theaters. Years later when it showed up on HBO, she spent many weekends, along with a friend, singing at the top of their lungs and dancing to their favorite songs, she said.

St. Francis’ “Grease” features a cast of 41, nine in the pit orchestra and 25 tech crew members.

Lukas Warren is vocal music director, Chad Armbruster directs the pit orchestra, while Frank Moran is choreographer.

Morehouse Olson said she believes people recall the film, “but they’ll want to see what the stage musical is like because it’s different from the movie – with more songs that they’ll love,” she said.

St. Francis High School Theatre Department presents “Grease,” Directed by Glenn Morehouse Olson, April 25, 26, 27, 7 p.m.; April 28, 2 p.m. Tickets are adults, $8, students and seniors, $6. Tickets are available at the door. St. Francis High School Performing Arts Center is located at 3325 Bridge St. For more information, call 763-213-1527.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

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