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EAC presents musical, Grease

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EAC presents musical, Grease

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s drama department will present the musical comedy Grease, January 24-27, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. in the College’s Fine Arts Auditorium.

Grease was written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey and is based on the high school subcultures of 1950s America. It takes its name from the “tough guy” working-class “greasers” of the era. The musical, set in fictional Rydell High in Chicago, tackles such social issues as teenage pregnancy and gang violence. Its themes include love, friendship, rebellion, and, to some degree, class consciousness/class conflict.

The show premiered as a straight play in 1971 in the Old Town section of Chicago. Producers Ken Waissman and Maxine Fox saw it and suggested to the playwrights that it might work better as a musical, and told them if they were willing to rework it and they liked the end result, they would produce it off-Broadway. The team headed to New York City to collaborate on what would become Grease, which opened at the Eden Theatre in downtown Manhattan on February 14, 1972. Excellent reviews and brisk box-office business prompted the producers to move it uptown.

The Broadway production, directed by Tom Moore and choreographed by Patricia Birch, opened on June 7, 1972. It closed on April 13, 1980, having racked up a total of 3,388 performances.

The show went on to become a West End hit, a hugely successful film, a popular 1994 Broadway revival, and a staple of regional theatre, summer stock, community theatre, and high school drama groups. In 2003, Grease was voted Best Musical of All Time in a BBC Channel 4 poll. A new Broadway production, directed by Kathleen Marshall, is scheduled for June 2007 and is being cast via NBC’s new show Grease: You’re The One That I Want.

Tickets for EAC’s offering of this incredibly popular musical are $5 for adults and $3 for students, and are on sale now at the EAC Ticket Office. Call (928) 428-8228 for more information. Full-time EAC students are admitted free with ID.