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Grease lightning rides in LaPlace; extra promotion highlights St. John Theatre outreach

LAPLACE — Energetic crowds along the Krewe Du Monde parade route raised their hands high for a chance to catch Mardi Gras throws and signature red cups promoting St. John Theatre’s upcoming production of “Grease.”

Packed into a double-decker Hollywood themed float, 29 St. John Theatre members celebrated the group’s first appearance in the Krewe Du Monde parade Sunday during an unexpected stretch of pleasant weather.

Banners advertising “Grease” and title sponsor GSmith Motorsports hung on all sides of the float, as riders clad in red Rydell High School shirts and scarves reminiscent of the 1950s greeted the community with excitement.

St. John Theatre managing director Crystal Faucheux said parade participation has been discussed for years, and she’s happy it finally became a reality.

“We were trying to think of ways to get the word out about our summer show, and we thought having a float would be a great way to advertise,” Faucheux said.

“We were expecting the worst with the weather, but the crowd was so much more than what I thought it would be. The sun even came out for a little piece of it.”

Several stopped to compliment the float before and after the parade, according to Faucheux.

St. John Theatre members Crystal Faucheux, Arlene Martin, Julian St. Pierre, Desiree Faucheux, Leila Ahmad and Amber Smith were part of the team who rolled through the streets of LaPlace.

St. John Theatre presents “Grease” to audiences July 19-21 and 24-27. Auditions will be held at 6 p.m. April 24-26 on-site at 115 W. Fourth Street in Reserve.

Director Mike Brooks said the last time “Grease” was featured as the summer musical was in 1996 with a different generation of performers, though the impact of the much loved musical remains the same.

“I think it’s an opportunity for the community to get involved in a great show, and it will interest teenagers as well as older adults because of the music some of them may have grown up with,” Brooks said. “It’s something everybody can identify with.”

Brooks is looking to fill 17 principal parts to be played primarily by older teenagers. Younger teens ages 13 and up may audition for a larger ensemble group, and there are two adult roles open for schoolteacher Ms. Lynch and radio personality Vince Fontaine.

Faucheux said St. John Theatre is a diverse group always accepting volunteer talent in concessions, box office, backstage, costumes, hair and makeup.

“We are very excited because the music in Grease is awesome,” Faucheux said.

“It’s going to be a fun summer, and we want everybody to come out and join our big family.”

For more information, call Faucheux and 504-676-4700.