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First City Players’ ‘Grease’ opens in Ketchikan
Nathaniel Jones, center, as Doody, sings "Those Magic Changes" on Wednesday during rehearsal for the First City Players' production of "Grease" at the Ketchikan High School auditorium.

Daily News Staff Writer

First City Players premiered its “Grease” production Friday, with a second performance set for Saturday night.

The performance will start at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Ketchikan High School auditorium. Additional shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on June 16 and June 17 at Kayhi.

Ketchikan’s Lallette Kistler is directing the production.

“This is such a fun cast and such a fun show,” Kistler said. “I don't even have words for it. These kids have really put in a lot of work, and they're exciting to watch.”

She said the musical keeps to the script of the original Broadway production, so differences will be apparent from the popular movie adaptation.

“We don't have a choice,” Kistler said. “The script is the script, and that's it.”

“It's, obviously, the same plot, except for it does end differently than the movie does,” she added. “The Broadway version is a little more raw.”

Kistler said: ”It's clean, as far as everything that's in there could play on TV or the radio. But it's definitely PG-13, which you don't even think about, when you go back and watch the movie now."

She said “Grease” is a copyrighted work that carries stringent guidelines for production rights to be granted.

FCP has also purchased the rights to some of the popular songs unique to the movie, such as “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and the “Grease” theme song.

"The biggest challenge was the cost,” Kistler said. “We were not expecting it to be as expensive as it was. It's also a challenge because high expectations from the movie, and the fact that this is not the movie will bother some people."

All told, the production has 10 leading roles, the first being greaser Danny Zuko, played by local Xavier Jones; the second being new girl Sandy Olsson, played by Katherine Tatsuda.

The other main roles include:

• Lydia Kline as Rizzo.

• Jennifer Karlik as Frenchy.

• Chelsea Goucher as Marty.

• Kelly Burke as Jan.

• Greg Karlik as Kenickie.

• Nathaniel Jones as Doody.

• Justin Perro as Roger.

• Dallas Hoffman as Sonny.

“We knew we had a show weeks ago,” Kistler said. “I think maybe because they're young, they're not as nonchalant, maybe, about things. And so, I'm a task master; I keep on things; I keep things moving; I nitpick; I stop them when I don't like what they're doing.”

“They have been ready,” she said. “They're amazing. I'm just so happy with how far they've come, and they've seen, you know, when things happen, and it excites them, and they make even more things happen.”