"Grease" is the word at Modesto Junior College this month.
The school is presenting the classic musical about high school romance, rebellion and friendship beginning Thursday and running through March 24 in the auditorium.
Best known from the 1978 movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, the show centers on the rocky romance between good girl Sandy and bad boy Danny.
Famous songs from the production include "Summer Lovin'," "Greased Lightning," "We Go Together," "You're the One That I Want," "Sandy" and "Hopelessly Devoted to You."
MJC's theater, dance andmusic departments are collaborating on the production, which features 40 cast members and a rock band.
"The energy of the show is infectious," choreographer Lori Bryhni said. "People are going to be tapping their feet or they are going to be singing along, annoying the person next to them. The cast is really excited about it. They come early to rehearsals and they rehearse on their own. They're completely committed to the project."
Though the show takes place in the 1950s, long before the young performers and some of their parents were born, the students have no trouble relating to the story or to the music.
Bryhni said the students adore the music.
"When I choreographed some of the songs for the 'Jam and Jive' (dance) show in the fall, all they did was sing it the entire time," she said.
Director Lynette Borrelli-Glidewell added that the show is a "timeless piece that is so relatable no matter what the time period is."
Nearly 100 people of varying experience levels turned out for auditions for the show. Aneka Torres and Franklin Dillon were selected to star as Sandy and Danny.
"They're part of my new crop of singers," said music director Cherrie Llewellyn. "They're getting their feet wet with acting and dancing."
Llewellyn said the show is definitely more about the cast as a whole than any particular performers.
"It's an ensemble-driven show," she said. "There are so many main characters. Even our chorus they're working hard to be part of that big picture. It's watching a group work together, not just two stars."
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. March 14 (preview), 7:30 p.m. March 15-16 and 21-23 and 2 p.m. March 24 (regular run)
WHERE: Modesto Junior College main auditorium,435 College Ave.
TICKETS: $8 preview, $10-$12 regular run
CALL: (209) 575-6776