OMT to present ‘Grease’ over 3 June weekends

May 21, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield – There is big excitement throughout the cast and crew of Orangeville Music Theatre over their upcoming production of Grease.

The teenaged love -in from the 1950’s, full of famous songs, wild dancing, fluffy skirts and beehive hair-dos of the girls (the Pink Ladies), the trembling biceps and steely looks of the male Greasers group (the T-Birds) is a favourite song and dance for generations of viewers.

Californian Danny and Australian Sandy meet on the beach in California.

Naturally, they fall in love. When summer fun is over, they expect to part, only to discover themselves at opposite ends of the culture spectrum when they unexpectedly wind up at the same high school.

Sandy’s parents decide to stay in California rather than to return to Australia.

There follows the culture shock for Sandy as she tries to maneuver through the labyrinth of opposing groups of Danny’s T-birds, all muscle and black leather jackets, and the man eating young woman, Rizzo’s group, the Pink Ladies.

As they weave their adolescent complexities through the plot, Sandy undergoes transformation (to which her parents probably objected) and changes her personal history.

In the end, love conquers all but it is the trials and angst along the road to resolution that make the story. And the famous music, of course.

“You’ll leave [the show] with a smile on your face,” promised Greg Marshall, the show’s director. “This is a summer romance and we’re just coming into summer. It’s such a timeless piece with that built-in familiarity plus songs that were never in the movie. So, it’s familiar but with something new – what you’d expect and something new.”

The music is provided by live musicians (as opposed to a sound track), who, as Mr. Marshall explained, are situated “right at the back of the stage”; this allows them to be the school band during the dance party scene.

Said Mr. Marshall, “I prefer live music. We have assembled great, enthusiastic and talented people for this production. We have a great team with Raeburn [Ferguson] and Heather [Holmes]. We’re on the same page as an artistic team.”

Mr. Marshall went to Sheridan College to study in the music theatre program. Although he later opted for a working life in business, his studies have given him a good basis for his great love – community theatre.

He went on to say of OMT’s version of Grease, “There are great costumes – all the cogs of the wheels are working together.”

Already having performed with OMT as Shrek and in Rocky, Mr. Marshall commented, “I’ve been in musicals and directed them. Once I had to jump in take a part when one of the actors got sick. We’ve been rehearsing this since March.”

Amanda Laughlin, vice president and publicist for the OMT, said that the high school characters are played by cast members ranging in age from 14 to over 30.

She confided that she has seen the film some 120 times.

Comfort movie watching and everything right about that.

Once again, OMT is staging the show at the Opera House. Grease will be performed on the main stage in Orangeville for three weekends in June. Starting on Friday, June 13 at 8:00 p.m., Grease continues on Saturday, the 14th and Sunday the 15th; likewise the following two weekends. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8:00 p.m. and the Sunday shows are matinees at 2:00 p.m. The final performance will be Saturday, June 28 at 8:00 p.m.

For more information or to buy tickets online go to www.orangevillemusictheatre .com or buy them at the theatre box office in the Town Hall on Broadway, telephone 519-942-3423.

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