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‘Tell me more, tell me more — Was it love at first sight?’

Standing: Jonah Graff as T-Bird member Danny Zuko and Mia Huddlestone as Sandy Dumbrowski are rehearsing the song “Summer Nights” at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Performing Art Center. Rehearsals for the newest production of Way Way Off-Broadway Theatre Company’s musical “Grease” are in full swing. The public has only two weekends to see the iconic love story between goody-two-shoes Sandy, played by Mia Huddlestone and her summer flirt Danny Zuko, played by Jonah Graff. (Christina Stock Photo)

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Way Way Off-Broadway Theatre Company shows perfect timing. This year, the beloved movie musical “Grease” celebrates its 40th anniversary and WWOB turns back time, bringing the Broadway version to the stage at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Performing Arts Center under the guidance of director Summer Souza. Tickets are now on sale.

The musical, set in 1959, is centered around goody-two-shoes Sandy Dumbrowski who starts at Rydell High School. Unbeknownst to her, her summer flirt, Danny Zuko, is a student here, too — and a member of the T-Birds group. Danny is hiding the cute side of himself and Sandy is in shock seeing how tough he behaves with his friends around. Only if she becomes part of the T-Bird’s female counterpart, the “Pink Ladies,” will she have any chance of being accepted. Otherwise peer pressure will keep the two love birds apart.

Jonah Graff is cast as Danny Zuko. “I have been performing since I was about 8 years old,” he said. “I didn’t start with WWOB since the last production of ‘Peter Pan.’ My mom was always a huge fan of ‘Grease.’ So I knew about it a long time before — I really didn’t see it until I heard about the auditions for Grease, so I really wanted to watch it to see what it really was,” Graff said.

One of the strongest alpha-female roles in the musical is the character of Rizzo — a tough Italian girl who developed a hard shell around a soft heart. She can’t stop making fun of Sandy, which comes out especially in the song “Sandra Dee.”

Katlyn Roe has been cast as Rizzo. “This is my first production ever. My sister, Abby, was in a lot of musicals. It always looked fun. I thought, I can do that, and then I saw that they were doing ‘Grease’ and I wanted to try. If I never try, I don’t know if I can do it. So I went to the audition and I got a part. I was pretty excited,” Roe said.

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Both 18-year-old actors have a message to the kids in Roswell, “‘Grease’ is going to be a really, really great show,” Graff said. “I encourage everybody to see it because it’s a lot of fun.” With a grin and a wink, Rizzo, aka Roe, said, “I second that.”

The public has two weekends to see the iconic musical at ENMU-R-PAC, 52 University Blvd., June 15-17 and June 22-24, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and on Sundays at 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit waywayoffbroadway.com or call 575-317-0157.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

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