Friday, May 4, 2018

“Grease” Brings Chatham’s 96th Season to a Rockin’ & Rollin’ Close

Cast of Grease

Book, Music and Lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
James Mosser is director and musical director
Jennifer Williams is the choreographer

WHEN: May 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17 18 and 19 at 8:00pm and May 12, 13 and 19 at 3pm
WHERE: Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham
TICKETS: $25 for adults and $23 for youth/senior
Tickets can be purchased at our Box Office or Online. To access the theater’s new online ticketing service, where you can now reserve your particular seat, simply go to The service is available 24 hours a day, and tickets can be purchased online up until three hours prior to curtain on the day of a performance. 
For information regarding box office hours, please call the box office number listed above. Patrons with special needs requiring seating accommodations should contact the Playhouse at least 24 hours prior to the performance. Without prior notice, accommodations cannot be guaranteed.

Get out your leather jackets and pull on your bobby socks! It’s time to join Rydell High’s senior class of 1959! Grease follows love-struck bad boy Danny and girl-next-door Sandy in a thrilling injection of pure fun with astounding dancing and amazing songs. It’s the beloved rock n’ roll celebration of teen angst, fast cars and first loves – all set in the fabulous fifties. This smash show is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the film release, and features the irresistible songs from the Tony Award-Nominated Broadway Show and hit movie, including “You’re the One That I Want,” “Grease is the Word,” “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin” and more!

The talented and diverse group of actors making up the cast of Grease are Grace Petersen of Chatham as Sandy Dumbrowski, Richie Carchia from Short Hills as Danny Zuko, Kylie Francis from Springfield as Betty Rizzo, Taylor Eccles from Colonia as Frenchy, Josh Bezerra from Mountainside as Rogerand and Anna Paskalides from Chatham as Female Ensemble. Union, NJ is well represented, for it features Ronin Ruste as Kenickie, Nico Vasquez as Eugene Florczyk, Cameron Brito as Doody, Evan Caban as Sonny, Crystal Wright as Marty, Leanne Laurino as Jan, Alyssa Carbonell as Patty Simcox, Alexis Orallo as Cha Cha, Jason Yanto as Johnny Casino, Scott Faranda as Vince Fontaine, Khadija Sankoh as Teen Angel, Patricia Fallon as Miss Lynch, Pranav Chawla as Male Ensemble and Rachel Mendoza as Female Ensemble.

James Mosser and Jennifer Williams currently work at Union High School, one of the top training programs for theater students in the state of New Jersey.  The UHSPAC has been nominated for over 126 prestigious Paper Mill Rising Star Awards, an event that recognizes excellence in high school theater, similar to the Tony Awards. They have won 31 awards and currently hold the record for the most wins ever won by a single show for their 2015 production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies winning 9 awards.  This past March, the UHSPAC was awarded a $10,000 grant from NBC and their new TV Drama Rise, a show about a high school theatre department.  The UHSPAC was selected as the only school to receive a sneak preview of the show's premiere and were treated to a special visit from the show's stars. They were featured in various online publications including People Magazine. Previous, Mosser and Williams directed and choreographed respectively Chatham Players’ 2016 production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, for which they were both nominated for NJACT Perry Awards.

Rounding out Mosser’s talented production team, the Producer and Scenic Designer is Robert Lukasik, Production Coordinator is Maybelle Lincoln, Stage Manager is Caroline Courtney, Assistant Stage Manager is Sarah Court, Scenic Painting by Carol Saso, Costume Designers are Cheryl Galante, Mike Patierno and Christina Kirk, Lighting Designer is Richard Hennessy, Sound Designer is Joe DeVico and Props is Tish Lum.

Producer Lukasik said, “Grease is the iconic musical that celebrates how the Fifties and the musicians of the time help changed the culture of America. The Fifties were also the beginnings of an era when teenagers controlled the music that they bought and listened to. Much was changing! Grease puts in front of us teenage relationships, rebellion, social structure, gang violence and peer pressure. It reminds many of us of the struggle of the age of adolescence. Grease the musical, would not be possible without the Rock and Roll revolution of the Fifties. We think it fitting to look at it today in the light of the revolution that it celebrates.”

Image: (L-R) Evan Caban, Lauren Laurino, Crystal Wright, Jason Yanto, Taylor Eccles, Cameron Brito, Richie Carchia, Grace Petersen, Kylie Francis, Ronin Ruste. Photo by Howard Fischer