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ASU's Lyric Opera Theatre presents student production of the renowned "Grease"

It may not be a summer night, but the Arizona State Lyric Opera will be presenting its production of “Grease” in the Evelyn Smith Music Theater this weekend. 

This Lyric Opera Theatre (LOT) production is this season’s student lab production, a special opportunity for students, artistic director Brian DeMaris said.

“The student lab has always been a project supported by LOT, in which case the students get to do everything,” DeMaris said. “They can try out roles for the first time, from being on stage to running crew or designing the show. Until now, this has been the main function of the lab — to allow students their own production opportunity.”

When the LOT faculty picks their programs for the year, they strive to include a wide variety of pieces including a classic, a contemporary and a fringe musical for the season. Last year, the student lab was given the fringe piece “Reefer Madness” to work on and the classic “A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine” the year before.

Faculty mentor Toby Yatso said “Grease” is the perfect production for the student lab.

“The student workshop gets whatever makes the most sense for that year, and this year that piece ended up being 'Grease,'" Yatso said. “We knew that the students could cast it successfully and that they could have a good experience with it creatively and stylistically. We knew it was a familiar title so we specifically chose a student workshop production that had a box office appeal.”

The lab gives opportunities to not only in the music school students but all of ASU. “Grease” is an inclusive musical and that is represented with a diverse cast, composed of musical theater students, other Herberger students and a wide range of other majors that might not always get a chance to perform with LOT. Students from all campuses are encouraged to attend.

Student stage director Janine Colletti said although “Grease” is a theater and film classic, it still has relevance in today’s culture.

“I think 'Grease' still resonates today because, although it’s a period piece set in the '50s, it’s core themes are timeless. How do we portray ourselves and who are we really?” Colletti said. “We see the teenagers in 'Grease' go through the same trials and tribulations that we all have gone through during our adolescence. Who is my ‘group’? How much should I conform to fit in? What is my relationship with alcohol? How comfortable am I with my sexuality?”

The LOT production of "Grease" is only around for one weekend. The performances are on Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 17 at 2 p.m in the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, which is located inside the ASU Music Building. A ticket to see this intimate production of one of Broadway's most popular musicals costs $8.

Related links:

2 is a couple, 3 is 'Company' in latest Lyric Opera production

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