FAYETTEVILLE >> The smash hit musical "Grease" is the final offering of Totem Pole Playhouse's 65th anniversary season, opening at 8 p.m. Aug. 1.
Two low-cost preview performances, with all seats costing $20,will be at 8 p.m. July 31 and 2 p.m. Aug. 1.
Preview tickets are available at the box office (call 1-888-805-7056) and online at www.TotemPolePlayhouse.org.
The opening night audience may join the cast and crew for a wine reception under the tent following the performance. The production will run through Aug. 16.
Leading a cast of 19 will be Broadway veterans Megan Campanile and Alex Aguilar, in the roles of Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko, portrayed in the hit 1978 film version by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.
Caren Anton, who appeared as Quiser in last season's comedy "Steel Magnolias," will step into the role of English teacher, Miss Lynch.
Joyce DeWitt, from the classic 1970's TV series "Three's Company," who had been scheduled to play the part of Miss Lynch, had to leave during rehearsals when her father became ill, and she asked to be released from her contract, according toTotem Pole's producing artistic director, Rowan Joseph.
"Ms. Anton, who was an audience favorite alongside Melissa Gilbert last season in our production of 'Steel Magnolias,' was able to come to our rescue," Joseph said.
New York actors Hannah Zazzaro will play Rizzo, leader of the Pink Ladies, and Chris Stevens will play Danny's best friend Kenickie. Joining them from New York are Lilyann Carlson as Marty, Trey Harrington as Roger, Kelsey Thompson as Frenchy, and Damian Shembel in the dual roles of Vince Fontaine and Teen Angel.
Christian James Potterton and Michael Roach, who appeared earlier this summer as two of the Anderson Brothers in Totem Pole's popular musical "Shenandoah," will return in the roles of Doody and Eugene. Also returning will be Domenic Servidio as Sonny, Bryan Dougherty as Johnny Casino, Kristen DiMercurio as Patty and Emily Ashton Meredith and Kyle Aaron Pollak.
Completing the cast will be local actors Taylor Whidden in the role of Jan and Alyssa Little as Cha-Cha DiGregorio.
Director and choreographer Nathaniel Shaw will stage the production, which will feature a five piece rock band led by musical director Darren Server.
Tickets cost $30 to $50, with matinee performances at 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and evening performances at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Order tickets online at www.TotemPolePlayhouse.org or call the box office at 1-888-805-7056.