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‘Grease’ opens Friday

The T-Birds and their main squeezes will hit the Duke Ellington Ballroom stage starting Friday night in CCT’s production of “Grease.”

It features a cast of more than 52 students who have been working to build the show from start to finish in just 11 days as part of CCT’s intense summer theater camp.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. All performances will be held on stage at the Duke Ellington Ballroom, inside the Holmes Students Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University.

Tickets cost $10 for general admission and can be purchased at the door at each performance. The box office will open one hour prior to show time.

“Grease” is set in the 1950s, and tells the story of two teenage lovebirds who share a summer love that takes a turn when they find out they’re going to the same high school.

Kris Pagoria, director of the production, said fans of Broadway and the silver screen will find elements from both versions of the show in his production.

“This is a good mix of the movie and the Broadway show,” he said in a news release. “I wanted to stick to the show, but I know the audience would expect a little John Travolta. I think it was more of a challenge than some of the students expected because it’s a show everyone knows, so that makes it hard to make your own adaptation of it.”

But students in the production said they’re confident in their castmates’ abilities and what audiences will see.

Blythe Schwaller, a student from Serena High School, who plays Rizzo, said cast members really help set the production apart from what audiences have already seen.

“I think it’s honestly the people we have in the show,” she said in the release. “We have a lot of talented people on stage, so when you put that together, it makes for an amazing show.”

Noah Engles, a student from Genoa who plays Danny Zuko, said it’s exciting for him to join the cast in showing off all of their skills.

“I like the support we get from the community and that we get to show everyone what we’re made of,” he said. “The fact that we’ve created this show in such a short amount of time makes this experience exciting. We are so pumped to get in front of audiences!”

Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, the musical features songs such as “Summer Nights,” “Those Magic Changes, “Freddy My Love,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Shakin’ at the High School Hop,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “Beauty School Dropout,” “Sandy,” “You’re the One that I Want” and “We Go Together.”

For more information, visit CCT of DeKalb County on Facebook.

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