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Grease Is The Word

For people of a certain age, “Sandy” conjures just one image, Olivia Newton John in the 1978 movie, Grease. How many of you who were teenagers at that time watched Grease over and over again on cable TV in the early 1980’s?  How many girls dreamed of being Sandy while singing along with the soundtrack and having Grease slumber parties?

Great Neck resident, Kim Kaiman was one of those teenagers and she is lucky enough to realize the dream when she takes the stage next week as part of a very talented ensemble cast in Play Troupe’s production of Grease at the Landmark on Main Street.

In an interview with the Port Washington News, Kaiman talked about how she came to play Sandy. As a youngster she was a fan of soap operas, both daytime and prime time, and fantasized about one day having a role on Knotts Landing, a popular show at the time. Throughout her teenage years, she attended performing arts summer camp, but as a college student she decided that she best have a “plan B” and eventually decided on law, which she felt would provide the opportunity to “tell stories” and use her love of theater in a more traditional role.

It was at her first job with a law firm that she met her future husband, Jon, who later entered politics and eventually was elected as North Hempstead Town Supervisor.

During the past 21 years of married life, Kim’s time was taken up with work both in and outside the home and the demands of being a political wife. She did perform in fundraising shows at her temple, but for the most part acting took a back seat to everyday life. When the casting calls for Grease went out in local newspapers, she was hesitant and it took a great deal of encouragement and support from husband to get her out to the audition on the very last night.

She introduced herself as Kim and took flight. Musical Director David Burnett says, “Kim is a delight to watch on stage. Her voice is lovely. She’s a perfect Sandy.”

Director Brian Long, who is a professional actor and director said, “Kim clearly came in with natural talent and a wonderful positive attitude. She’s been an absolute pleasure to have as just one member in a really strong cast.”

Kaiman herself acknowledges the ensemble nature of the cast and crew, which has drawn talent from near and far. “I am honored to be entrusted with the role of Sandy. For me this is a dream come true. There is a wonderful spirit of family and camaraderie.”

When asked how she and her family have adapted to the rigors of the rehearsal schedule, Kaiman said, “Over the years, Jon and I have both juggled complicated schedules. Our three children can’t wait to see the show.” As for Kaiman herself, she has adapted to the physicality of rehearsing three to four hours every day.

The production in Port will be closer to the play Grease than the film. The play, which originally opened in 1972, begins at the 25th high school reunion of Rydell High School. The story unfolds as the characters relive their senior year.

Harbor Musical Theater Company, which is producing the show, is the musical theater division within Port Washington Play Troupe. The production of Grease will be at the Jean Rimsky Theater at Landmark on Main Street on July 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28. Tickets are $20. All performances are at 8 p.m. with an additional 2 p.m. matinee show on July 21. The matinee will feature a discount ticket price of $10 for seniors and children. Additional information is available at or by calling 800-838-3006.