“Grease” was a play before it was a blockbuster movie. In fact, at the time that it closed its run on Broadway in 1980, it had racked up more than 3,000 performances since its start in 1971. The play has different songs, and the school version of the play is very G-rated when compared to the original production.

Marathon High School’s drama club will perform “Grease” this weekend — Friday and Saturday, April 9-10 with a 7 p.m. curtain, and on Sunday, April 11 with a 2 p.m. curtain.

“It took me a while to appreciate the differences between the movie and the play,” said director Carrollyn Cox, who also confessed she saw the movie 14 times in the theater as a teenager. “Some of the songs in the show — which are not in the movie — have become my favorites.” 

“It’s such a classic,” said Mary Ryder, who plays Sandy. “I think the whole community can appreciate this show. It’s very energetic.” 

This is Cox’s seventh season as director of MHS Drama Club. She has been directing since the seniors were sixth graders and said she is very happy to have worked with Sara Gonzales, Mary Ryder and Rachel Matthis every year since. 

“I’ve been promising them I would direct ‘Grease’ as soon as the boys grew up enough,” she said. “As you can see, they certainly have!”

Playing opposite Sandy is Patrick Daniher in the role of Danny Zuko. The cast of Greasers also includes Charles Vaughn (Roger), Chase Taylor (Kenickie), Reef Holdinga (Sonny) and Joseph Cabrera (Doody). The Pink Ladies are Ryder, Izzy Kingsley (Marty), Sara Gonzales (Rizzo), Riley McDonald (Frenchie) and Rylee Seligson (Jan). Paige Richard is Cha-Cha and plays the part to perfection. Erick Clark plays the role of Vince Fontaine, the emcee of the dance-a-thon; Casey Jorvat plays Johnny Casino. Sawyer Bisson doubles up — he plays the “teen angel” as well as the class nerd. Megan Gross plays Miss Lynch and Calla Jimenez plays Patty Symcox. Also look for Ella Dunn and Allison Helms, the drama club’s up-and-comers. 

Rachel Matthis is the stage manager, Dante Senmartin is in charge of lights and Leo Volchek runs the sound. Paige Richard is the student director. 

MHS students have been working on the set and rehearsing for months. Cox said she’s proud to welcome back alumni to help the students such as her own daughter, Claire McCarthy, and Arianna Patterson. Some of the current actor’s parents and alumni’s parents have also returned: Cami Holdinga designed the choreography and pitched in with some sewing, Jeff Tipsword helped build the set, Tom Diezel was master chief (procurer) and Steve and Cathy Walters helped to build the “car.” (Cox refused to let the Keys Weekly photograph the car, as she wants it to be a surprise for theater goers. Spoiler: it’s amazing.)

Marathon High School’s drama club and Cox have a reputation for delivering fantastic shows, on par with the adult community theater in the Keys. “Grease” is sure to be a hit. Again. 

Tickets are $10 and available at the door of the auditorium at Marathon High School. Seating is limited and socially distanced, due to COVID-19 restrictions, and masks are required.

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