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‘Grease’ lightning to hit TYPA stage
TYPA Grease
The Turlock Youth Performing Arts will present “Grease” next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Turlock Community Theatre (JOE CORTEZ/The Journal).

For a few days next weekend, the city of Turlock will have a third high school, as Turlock Youth Performing Arts brings to life the characters from Rydell High in “Grease.”

TYPA’s take on this stage and screen classic will be offered at three different showings — Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and July 30 at 2 p.m. — at the Turlock Community Theatre, 1574 E. Canal Dr.

Tickets are $15 pre-sale and $18 at the door.

On Wednesday, with less than 10 days before the premiere, the cast and crew were rehearsing and staging sets under the watchful eye of director/music director Tom Oakley, and choreographer Christina Rhoads.

Being able to rehearse on the actual stage where TYPA will give its performance lends itself to more quality over quantity when it comes to rehearsal time.

“It’s been a shorter overall rehearsal period, but we’ve had more technical time by being in here, if that makes sense,” said Oakley, who works as the music teacher at Sacred Heart School and is the music director for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock. “We’re usually rehearsing off-site somewhere.”

The “Grease” production is open to TYPA members entering ninth grade up to those who’ve just graduated high school.

“Something that’s new this year is the mentee program,” said Rhoads. “These are kids that really love the program and have come back to shadow Tom and me in our roles.”

Shadowing Oakley this season are Seth Boice and Mari Armendariz. Shadowing Rhoads is Hanna Whitfield, who performed with TYPA off and on since she was 8 years old, including last summer when she earned the role of Marian (the librarian) in “The Music Man.” She graduated from Turlock High in 2021.

“I love doing this, so it’s fun for me,” said Whitfield, who handled choreography for last spring’s “The Little Mermaid,” which featured the younger TYPA members. “It’s cool to see how the other side of the production works; seeing how much work gets put into a show. I didn’t really understand it when I was performing in the shows.”

Playing the lead roles of Danny and Sandy in “Grease” are Chris Brown and Maya Fuentes, respectively. 

They’ll be singing favorites like “Stranded at the Drive-In” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”

“This has been a really talented cast,” said Rhoads. 

 Other classics, such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightning,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” and “You’re the One that I Want” will be performed.

“I just love watching the process of them putting a show together,” said TYPA board member Robin Wooten, who, after starting out as a parent volunteer, now also serves as set decorator and producer. “I just can’t give it up.”

To prepurchase tickets, call (209) 380-5507.