Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Real Live High School Musical

I haven't been going out much lately. I've generally stayed busy with things like paperwork and packing up all my worldly belongings to get ready for my upcoming move to a new town and new apartment. But I got a text from my sister Thursday night with an intriguing invitation that I really couldn't turn down.

Her message informed me that Northside High School was putting on a performance of Grease. It was only $5 at the door. As a kid, I loved watching Grease. I loved the music. And between that and Back to the Future, I constantly wished I had grown up in the 50s. So, yeah, I was in. After all, I was out of empty boxes with which to pack my books and DVDs. That pretty much freed up my evening.

I've seen the stage version of Grease once before. When I was in high school, the show came to Roanoke and I got the chance to see it live, performed by some pros. Sure, it was slightly different from the movie, but it was still a lot of fun. I really don't get to enjoy live theater as much as I'd like. I tell myself that if I lived in New York, it's the kind of thing I'd go to all the time. But the reality is, I probably wouldn't.

Anyway, I didn't go to this play expecting perfection. These are high school kids. But I'll admit, I was very impressed by their performance. And hey, seeing the students of Rydell High being played by actual high school students was a really novel idea. That added a certain believability to the show that can't be found when Danny and Sandy are played by folks in their 30s.

In my opinion, the stand out performance of the night belonged to the young lady playing Rizzo. Not sure if it was just because she was having so much fun with the role or because of some deeply genuine talent. Probably both. Whatever the case, she was outstanding. Both of her solos were phenomenal.

The whole thing made me want to come back home and dig through boxes to find my copy of the Grease DVD. Again, it wasn't perfect, but it was a lot of fun to watch. And those kids put a lot into what they were doing. Made me wish I had taken an interest in performing back when I was in school.

So if you're in the Roanoke area tonight, head out to Northside High. It's well worth the $5 admission price. Give me a call if you're going, you might be able to convince me to see it again.

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