by: VERN UYETAKE Danielle Dirkx and Andrew Nitsche star as Sandy and Danny in the LOHS production of "Grease."

All the complexities of love, cars and drive-ins will be revealed when Danny, Sandy and the gang take the stage in Lake Oswego High School's production of 'Grease,' opening Nov. 10.

Senior Andrew Nitsche stars as handsome greaser Danny Zuko, the leader of the T-Birds. He is a natural blond but chose to dye his hair black for the part.

Danielle Dirkx, also a senior, stars as good girl Sandy Dumbrowski, who is new in town.

The two have acted together since junior high.

In 'Grease,' their characters fall in love over the summer. After they unexpectedly discover they are attending the same high school when classes resume in the fall, will they be able to rekindle their romance?

The musical is based on the 1978 movie that starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, which in turn was based on the 1971 Broadway hit musical by Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs.

'The audience is in for a good time. 'Grease' is a cultural touchstone,' said director Bob McGranahan, LOHS drama teacher. 'The kids are living this every day in their own high school. … They can relate to this.'

The hard part, he said, was getting them to be themselves and authenticate what they are portraying on stage with how they feel in their present-day, similar high school life.

'The trick is making that switch to their characters.'

Set in a 1950s high school, 'Grease' is the story of young love among working-class teens, the greasers. The show tackles social issues such as teen pregnancy, gang violence, class consciousness and rebellion but also love and friendship.

The score is packed with early rock 'n' roll songs that are great listening and easy to dance to, including 'Greased Lightnin',' 'Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee,' 'Summer Nights,' 'Beauty School Dropout,' 'We Go Together,' and the cast's favorite, 'You're the One That I Want.'

'Being able to sing all the songs is my favorite part,' said Dirkx, 'especially 'Summer Nights' and 'You're the One That I Want.' 'Grease' has always been one of my favorite movies.'

'Yes, the songs are the best part,' agreed Nitsche, 'and the fact that every thing in the play we can relate to.

'The choreography is really well done, too. We hope it causes the audience to say 'Oh, wow!''

Aside from great songs and dancing, he believes audiences will enjoy the storyline of the musical. 'There is a realness to it. We've worked hard to relate to the audience.'

The show involves nearly 100 students.

'I have 60 kids in the cast,' said McGranahan, 'and another 30 or so who have helped with the production, and another five in the orchestra. So, close to 100 students are involved in this production.'

The musical will run 7 p.m. Thursdays, Nov. 10 and 17, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays, Nov. 12 and 19.

Tickets cost $12 general admission, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for children age 5 and under. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door.

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