A new take on a classic favorite

"Young people with really good energy, so that they understand what the characters are going through," he said.

When La Porto says he wants energy from his performers, he means it. The actors cast in "Grease" rehearsed six days a week for about four weeks; from 6 to 11pm. on the weekdays, and noon to 10 p.m. on the weekends.

After the July 12 opening, the cast will perform six days a week, through Aug. 19.

Despite the rigorous performance and rehearsal schedule, Smith said the actors are expected to make each show as big and energetic as the night before.

"We have a creative staff that inspire the cast and make them want to bring that kind of energy every night," he said." A lot of people think of acting as just this fun thing, but it's a job, and they're paid to do it."

Since the stage production of "Grease" is a high-energy rock show with an emphasis on choreography, Megan McGarvey, who plays Sandy, said her role is challenging.

"The dancing and singing together was tough, you have to really keep your stamina up," she said.

Nick Coccetto, who plays Danny, considers himself "an actor that moves well."

Like his co-star, Coccetto also thought the choreography was a bit challenging, but is very confident of the finished product.

"It's quality, the dancing is amazing. It's the best choreography I've ever had."

"Knock on wood this has been a really good cast," LoPorto said. "Everyone has been working way harder than expected," he said.

With all the hard work and energy that has gone into "Grease," it's one summer crowds won't want to miss.

"It's fun, it's energetic, it's big, it's loud!" Smith said.

Grease, directed by Michael LoPorto, musically directed by Adam Jones, and choreographed by Mitchell A. Finke, runs Tuesday through Sunday at 8 p.m. from July 10 to Aug. 19 at Park Playhouse in Albany's Washington Park. First-come, first-served seating is free. There is reserved seating, which costs $10 to $12. For information, visit www.parkplayhouse.com. ""

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