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Vancouver Theatre: The Original Grease

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

  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.

grease1-w500-h500.jpgAlthough the relationship between Danny (Markian Tarasiuk) and Sandy (Lauren Jackson) still features prominently in the story line, this earlier version is more of an ensemble piece with each of the characters given the opportunity to shine. Kenickie (Vincent Leblanc-Beausoin) and the boys did a great job with "Greased Lightnin'". Loved the car!  All the ensemble numbers were really strong vocally. Unfortunately on the night I saw the show it was apparent that some of the cast were sick, and their voices reflected that in their solo pieces which were at times not easy to hear. luckily though, it didn't affect  the dancing.

The set design was very versatile  with set pieces that moved easily and stic -on movable signs indicating changes of setting from areas at Rydell High School, to the Burger Palace and even a drive-in theatre. The light coloured background allowed the colorful costumes to stand out. With Peter Jorgensen's steady direction, Dunbar's fast-paced choreography, and the music of The Grease Band, there was not a down moment in the show, and when it finished I wanted more. Overall, another great evening of entertainment by the gang at Studio 58.

It runs till the 23rd Feb. Don't miss it. For tickets call 604 684-2787 or buy online at www.ticketstonight.ca