GREASE or OKLAHOMA!
With a few more performances left, the adaptation of the popular musical Grease at the Theatre under the Stars is indeed worth saving a summer night for. Theatre under the Stars presents Grease - a phenomenal production headed by Gaelan Beatty as Danny and Tracy Neff as Sandy. Anna Eloiza of CJSF Radio was a part of a delighted crowd that gathered at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park on July 31st 2007 to take in the show.
Every song and dance performance earned a loud round of applause - especially the first act with Sandy, Danny and company performing the infamous, Summer Nights. The costumes reminded us of the era of leather wardrobe, funky hairstyles and a-line skirts. The set had minimal props, minimal yet effective at setting just the right mood. The actors’ performances, the lighting and colors used in the set and the colors chosen for the cast’s costumes, all conveyed the appropriate mood for each scene. The dance competition scene had vibrant and warm colors and lighting, with loud and lively music to depict prom night. Yet Sandy’s Since I Don’t Have You performance in the following scene quickly changed the mood from dynamic to melancholic by switching to darker lighting and darker curtains to express her heartache.
Grease offered its own comic relief in the characters of Frenchy (Kayla Dunbar) and Rizzo (Nicole Stevens). Though Summer Nights and Greased Lightin’ are undoubtedly the most popular hits from Grease, surprisingly, Frenchy and company’s Beauty School Dropout gained popularity with the audience as well. Next to Summer Nights, the Beauty School Dropout act garnered the loudest applause from the audience. Perhaps the best part of the act was Andrew Cohen’s comedic performance as the Teen Angel, which kept the crowd laughing throughout the entire Beauty School Dropout scene.
However, the association between Grease Lightnin’ and Grease undoubtedly remains popular among the crowd. The leather wardrobe partnered with the old muscle car and Danny and the gang’s entertaining stunts indeed captured the essence of this well-loved song.
Despite its many adaptations, the lessons behind Grease still remain intact and this adaptation at the Theatre under the Stars is no exception. The issues of teenage pregnancy, smoking, drinking and most importantly peer pressure, were still highlighted.
With its brilliant performances and stellar cast, Theatre under the Stars has definitely maintained the entertaining and captivating reputation of the musical Grease. Despite the small theatrical production, the comic relief provided by its supporting cast, the captivating scenes between Beatty and Neff as Danny and Sandy, the amazing musical performances, and the excitement echoing among the audience is more than enough proof that Grease still remains one of the most well-loved musicals of all time.
With still a few more shows left, I encourage everyone to spare a summer night under the stars to experience the lightnin’ of Grease! Hopefully, Theatre under the Stars will extend the performance so everyone can sit down, sing along with and applaud this enchanting musical.
Theatre under the Stars production of Grease runs until August 18 at the Malkin Bowl at Stanley Park. Check www.tuts.ca for ticket and show time information.