School News
April 27, 2018- “Grease is the word, but it’s not the movie,” says VMS Theatre Director Tony Bender, describing the school version of this iconic theatrical production. The show takes the stage at Vail Mountain School Thursday May 3 through Saturday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. and features 41 VMS middle school students in grades 6-8.

“It’s the same story, but some of the stronger themes have been removed so that audiences of all ages will enjoy the show.” Which is good because the original theatrical show and the movie it inspired grappled with some pretty heavy issues.

Grease is set in 1959, but it’s a timeless tale that is just as relevant today as it was decades ago. It’s boy meets girl—Danny and Sandy, of course—and the boy screws up. Danny is trying to fit into a mold he perceives as prescribed by society and his bad-boy-peers don’t exactly set the bar high. And while the story is rife with messages espousing conformity and outdated gender stereotypes, the VMS middle schoolers are putting a bit of their own spin on the show.

“At face value, the moral of the story is to change yourself to satisfy society, but I wanted to focus on the message of standing your ground and being who you are,” says Bender. “We worked from the start on the emotion behind the character’s actions, and in particular on showing that the changes in one’s character needs to come from their own personal choice, not because someone else wants you too.”

All the songs you know and love are included in the VMS production, and when all 41 middle schoolers take the stage and sing, it’s incredibly powerful. The solos are great too. There’s the Grease theme song, Beauty School Dropout, Greased Lightning, Sandy, and Mooning, which is a double entendre referring both to love as well as the practice of exposing one’s bottom.

“This is a very lighthearted and fun show,” says Bender. “I think the audience will be particularly blown away by the the numbers that feature the entire cast. It all comes together with a classic happy ending and life lessons about character that involve learning about oneself, society, and the power of forgiveness.”

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