Grease is the word in Eagle-Vail |

Grease is the word in Eagle-Vail

Sarah Mausolf
Eagle-Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyMason Babcock, center, as Kenickie, leads the boys in the song "Grease Lightening", during a dress rehearsal of Battle Mountain's production, "Grease" Tuesday in Eagle Vail, Colorado

EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” Seventeen-year-old Aaron Szindler, a student in Eagle-Vail, Colorado, has been rocking a black leather jacket and sideburns for years.

So when he scored the role of Danny in the musical “Grease,” the look wasn’t much of a stretch.

“I actually carry a comb with me all the time,” Szindler said. “They think I’m getting into character but I was born to play this role.”

“Grease,” which debuts tonight at Battle Mountain High School, will mark the last show students will perform on the Eagle-Vail school’s stage. Come next fall, students will have moved into the new Battle Mountain High School in Edwards. The new school has a bigger stage and auditorium.

It is an upgrade students are looking forward to, even as they wax sentimental about the old stage.

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“There’s a lot of memories here and I’ll be sad to see it go, but there’s going to be a lot more to come after this and it will open up a gateway to new things,” Szindler said.

Suzanne Foster has been directing plays on the current stage for 22 years. She directed “Grease” here 16 years ago, and has invited the alumni from that show to come to this weekend’s performance.

“It’s just a great way to close the stage, close down its career here, so to speak,” she said.

Set in the 1950s, “Grease” follows a pair of teenagers who engaged in a summer romance and wind up attending the same high school. Sandy Dumbrowski (played by junior Gina Lovell) is a goody two-shoes who falls into a crowd of rebellious Pink Ladies (senior Sage Buchalter plays Betty Rizzo) and eventually ends up with Danny Zuko, a hot-rod-obsessed bad boy.

“The songs are just so catchy and so fun to sing and it’s, like, the original ‘High School Musical:'” said sophomore Jillian Kiss, who plays a beauty school dropout angel. “Boy meets girl, but they have a problem getting together and they get together in the end.”

Although “Grease” dates back to the 1970s, some aspects of the show remain relevant today.

“I think we still have the tough girls like Betty Rizzo,” Foster said. “I think we still have the nerds like Eugene. I think we have the rah rahs like Patty Simcox. I think they’re enduring because they’re somewhat stereotypes but the characters who play the roles bring a unique flavor to them and the way they interact with each other.”

Of course, modern teenage life isn’t exactly like 1950s Rydell High.

“We definitely don’t break out into song,” Kiss pointed out.

“We don’t smoke in real high school,” added 17-year-old Cassidy Corcoran, who plays Frenchy.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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