Studio 58

geas3d-w500-h500.jpgThe Original Grease
Book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
Directed by Peter Jorgensen
Musical Direction by Courtnay Ennis
Choreography by Kayla Dunbar
Studio 58, Langara
Playing till February 23, 2014

Vancouver , BC:  Loved the show -  this Grease is energizing, galvanizing,  electrifying! 

grease2-w500-h500.jpgA non-stop, high voltage, entertaining production. I'm addicted to dance and my passion for dancing that started with rock and roll in my teen years continues till this day. Watching the student ensemble jive and gyrate though Kayla Dunbar's exuberant choreography, I could hardly keep my feet from tapping through the show

grease1-w500-h500.jpg  This is not  the Grease of the iconic 1978 film with John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and Stockard Channing but the original Grease, which premiered in Chicago in 1971 as a play about students at a fictional high school in a working class neighbourhood. After Jacobs and Casey were asked to develop it into more of a musical,  it opened in New York in 1972 as a musical and was well received, being nominated for 7 Tony Awards.

It was interesting to have the opportunity to see the roots of what evolved into a highly successful Broadway production and film, and to realise that most of my favorite musical numbers were already present from the earliest musical version.

Spring Awakening
Book and Lyrics by Steven Slater
based on the play by Frank Wedekind
Music by Duncan Sheik
Directed by David Hudgins
Musical Director Andy Toth
Choreographer  Shelley Stuart Hunt
at Studio 58, Langara College
Jan 31 to  Feb 24, 2013

Vancouver, BC: I have been waiting to see this show for several years. It seems like every time it is on in a particular city, I have either just missed it or leave before it opens so I am  glad to have finally caught this show, especially with the talented students of Studio 58 taking on what is quite a challenging work.

Based on Frank Wedekind's  controversial 1891 play, Spring Awakening, about burgeoning sexuality in a group of young people in 19th century Germany, the rock musical adaptation does not hold back in portraying the raw sexuality of the youth in question, nor the fears and the ignorance of both youth and adults in the provincial German town in which it's set.

Attempts on her Life
By Martin Crimp
Directed by Katrina Dunn
Studio 58,
Langara College
Sept 27 to Oct 14, 2012

Vancouver, BC: Kudos to director, Katrina Dunn, and her cast  of 15 Studio 58 students, who made the one hour and 40 minutes of Martin Crimp's extraordinary "play" pass in a flash.  Martin Crimp is a contemporary British playwright and translator, whose 1997 play, Attempts on her Life, challenges conventional theatrical form and structure.  There is no storyline, no pre-defined characters and no pre-defined setting. This play consists of 17 apparently unrelated scenarios in which characters provide differing perspectives of a protagonist, Annie, whom we never actually meet on stage. Does she really exist or is she a construct of "woman" - daughter, mother, sexual object?

Jennica Grienke, Agnes Tong, Stephanie Moroz, Andrea Houssin: Photo by David CooperThe Crucible  by Arthur Miller
Directed by Jane Heyman
Studio 58 at Langara College
Sept 29 to Oct 16, 2011.

Vancouver, BC:  "The play's the thing!" and Arthur Miller's play written almost 60 years ago has not lost one iota of its power to captivate. The Crucible is set in Salem village, Massachusetts in 1692, notorious for the witch trials resulting in nineteen people hanging for supposedly being witches. Miller's play premiered on Broadway in 1952, five years after the House Committee for Un-American Activities had begun an investigation into communist influence in the Hollywood movie industry.  Several hundred actors, directors and screen writers accused by this committee were blacklisted and their lives and careers ruined. The Crucible serves an allegorical function, the religious hysteria of seventeenth century Massachusetts stands in for the anti-communist hysteria of the 20th century. Both forces  were driven by rabid believers who forced innocent people into the moral dilemma of false confessions or naming names of associates, to save their own lives.

Ky Scott, Alex Rose, Carlos Rodriguez, Caitlin McCarthy. Photo by David CooperThe Secret in the Wings by Mary Zimmerman
Directed by Mike Stack
Music composition and direction by Kevin McNulty
Studio 58, Langara College
Nov 18 to Dec 5, 2010

This show may not have made it onto your theatre-going radar but I highly recommend that you head on over to Studio 58 at Langara College to see The Secret in the Wings. Everything about this production and especially the perfectly paced direction and the outstanding ensemble work is first class. It's definitely top of my current "do not miss" list of shows.

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