Nostalgia abounds at 'Grease' performance

The thought of portraying one of film's most iconic characters on the stage scared the spotlight-loving Danielle Ridge.

But, when the time came for the 16-year-old to don the sweet A-line dresses and sweaters of Sandy Dumbrowski in"Grease,"she was filled with excitement.

She also wanted to give Estancia High School alumna Joanna Schroeder, who played Sandy in 1982, a performance worthy of her own.

"I wanted to give her a really good show," said Danielle, a junior. "I wanted her to be able to watch that great show that she put on. She already knows what it feels like, but I wanted to show her what it looked like."

Estancia's spring musical production of "Grease" paid tribute to its past with a 30-year reunion of the 1982 cast of "Grease," while breaking new ground — Saturday was the drama department's third night of sell-out shows. The outpouring of support spurred an added performance for Friday.

"This is the first time ever we've sold out every show," said Greg Ridge, co-president of the Estancia High School Drama Boosters and Danielle's father.

The reunion came about after two coincidences that seemed more like fate to some of those involved.

Estancia's drama program put on "The Crucible" earlier this year followed by "Grease" over the weekend — the same shows the class of 1982 performed.

When alumna Kathy Esfahani realized the twist of fate, she invited former cast members to Saturday's show. Through Facebook, a handful of alumni came back to Estancia from places like Marina del Rey, the Bay Area and a far away as Chicago.

For alumnus Jim McCahill, it wasn't his first time back at his old stomping grounds.

He found it incredible, though, that both he and senior Riley Stack played Kenickie in "Grease" and John Proctor in "The Crucible."

Danielle said she could see herself coming back in 30 years to see Sandy sitting in the audience and watching the show she once performed.

"I was here 30 years ago in that little tight outfit," Danielle imagined herself saying to the future Sandy.

It's an "incredible sense" of loyalty, family and camaraderie that keeps the drama alumni coming back years later, said Drama advisor Pauline Marnian.

"It's more than just the experience of being on stage," she said. "They love the sense of being together."

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

If You Go

What: Additional showing of "Grease."

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Estancia High School's Barbara Van Holt Theatre, 2323 Placentia Ave.

Tickets: Tickets are $10 for students and $12 for general admission.

Info: Call (949) 515-6537

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