General Info > News Releases > Archived Releases 2006-07 > 2007-03-05: The Cast of Grease get their D.A.’s


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File: NR-Grease-DAs

The Cast of Grease get their D.A.’s

by Carole Hester

Grease women's chorus There's a great musical coming to town based around some of the subcultures of 1950s high school America, including the "tough guy" working-class greasers from which the musical takes its name.

Most Americans who know "Grease" are familiar with the 1978 film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, which became the highest grossing movie musical. However, few are aware that the musical debuted on Broadway seven years earlier, garnered six Tony nominations, and went on to become the longest running musical in Broadway history (a record since broken). In 1994, the show was revived on Broadway and ran for another 1,500 performances. Currently, "Grease" is the most often produced show in regional, summer stock, and high school theaters - and it's coming to Ukiah.

Local Thespians needed to be "schooled" in the styles and mores taking place in the time frame of "Grease," which brings to life Rydall High’s spirited class of 1959 - gum-chewing, hub-cap-stealing, hot-rod loving boys with D.A.’s and their wisecracking girls in bobby sox and poodle skirts.

Grease Guy's chorus Members of the upcoming production met at Lorie Capp’s Studio West to get their new Greaser "do’s." Many in the cast had longer hair styles and had never put "product" in their hair. They were trained by stylist Capp on how to back comb their sides to produce this popular style from the 1950’s. The style was also known as a "Duck’s Tail" but the abbreviation, D.A., well, you can figure it out. Other than the poodle skirt, no other symbol of the 1950s has captured the imagination and endured so well.

The style required that the hair be combed back around the sides of the head. The end of a rattail comb was used to make a central part at the back of the head, resembling to many, the rear end of a duck. In addition, the hair on the top front of the head was deliberately disarrayed so that untidy strands hung down over the forehead.

The ducktail hair style contributed to the term "greasers." To accomplish this look, lots of hair grease was required to hold the hair in place. This was still the era of hair creams, so it only required an increase in the amount to make hair remain in the desired style. This was before the era of hair sprays, and, of course, real men did not use sprays anyway.

Grease Girl's quartet To insure that the hair was just so, the male frequently touched up the DA many times during the day by running his greasy comb through it.

Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department and Ukiah Civic Light Opera’s production will be directed by Mendocino College Professor Les Pfutzenreuter, with choreography by Leslie Saxon West and Eddie Vedolla, Jr. and musical direction by Kathryn Allan. The show is produced by Theatre Arts Professor, Reid Edelman with Scenic Design by Kate Boyd, Lighting Design by Larry Lang and Sound Design by John Beatty. The Greaser’s D. A. hair is designed by Lorie Capps at Studio West.

The musical takes place at fictional Rydell High School in Chicago, Illinois. Some of the social issues featured in the musical are teenage pregnancy and gang violence; its themes include love, friendship, rebellion and sexual exploration during adolescence, and, to some degree, class consciousness/class conflict.

Sandy Dumbrowski is the new girl at Rydell High: a sweet, naive, virginal character fresh from a summer romance. Danny Zuko is the typical bad boy: a greaser from the wrong side of the tracks with a posse of leather-jacketed cronies. Who would have thought they would fall in love? In "Grease," that's exactly what happens.

Though Mendocino College’s production will be bright and glitzy, it will bring real personalities to life, not cartoon characters. Kids from the 50’s dealt with real issues and had real problems. "Grease," however, has toe-tapping music and spirited and energetic choreography.

Cast members include Janet Noe as Miss Lynch; Susan Haynes as Patty Simcox; Abrey Mann as Eugene Florczyk; Martha Magruder as Jan; Sara Lytle as Marty; Josanna Kiggins as Betty Rizzo; Joel Shura as Doody; Nate Mack as Roger; Tony Rakes as Kenickie; Caleb Meek-Bradley as Sonny; Brittani Ray as French; Melissa Dunham as Sandy Dumbrowski; Ian Parmenter as Danny Zuko; Jason Davis as Vince Fontaine; Chuck Wilson as Johnny Casino; Ivory Reid as Cha-Cha DiGregorio; Rick Allan as Teen Angel. Pink Ladies/Students are: Laura Bartlett, Emily Brouwer, Maya Kageyama, Allison Mack, Rachel Morris, Mollie Murphy, Cassidy Platt, Gilly Platt, and Kristie Tucker. Burger Palace Boys/Students are: Sean Hessom, Dillon Howell, Alobar Morris and Jake Stoepler.

"Grease" hits Mendocino College’s Center Theatre on March 30, 2007, for a two-week run. Tickets are $15 General Admission; $12 Students and Seniors. Tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company and the Mendocino College Bookstore. The performances are Fridays and Saturdays, March 30, 31, April 6, and 7 at 8 p.m.; Thursday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m.; and Saturday, April 7 at 2 p.m. Note that the tickets are General Admission with no reserved seating. For more information call 462-9155.

"Grease" contains mature subject matter and language. Parental discretion is advised.



Martha Magruder, Sara Lytle, Susan Haynes, Josanna Kiggins, Brittani Ray & Melissa Dunham in the Mendocino College / UCLO production of Grease.  (photo by Evan Johnson)

Nate Mack, Ian Parmenter, Tony Rakes, Caleb Meek-Bradley, & Joel Shura in the Mendocino College / UCLO production of Grease.  (photo by Evan Johnson)

Brittani Ray, Martha Magruder, Josanna Kiggins, & Sara Lytle in the Mendocino College / UCLO production of Grease.  (photo by Evan Johnson)   

Melissa Dunham (Sandy) and Ian Parmenter (Danny) in the Mendocino College / UCLO production of Grease.  (photo by Evan Johnson)

Created: March 05, 2007 @ 04:57 PM
Last Modified: March 06, 2007 @ 10:25 AM


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