by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville Community High School actors spent the fall putting in plenty of hours rehearsing the school’s annual Christmas season play, a necessary investment given the school took on one of its most ambitious productions to date – Grease: the Musical. Those hours of rehearsal paid off as the cast brought the classic of musical theatre to the Morinville Community Cultural Centre stage Wednesday night for the first performance in a three-day run.
Though many in the audience would be familiar with the 1978 John Travolta and Olivia Newton John movie of the same name, the play predates the film by seven years, its subject matter by two decades. Set in 1959, the musical follows the lives of 10 working-class teenagers in a production that provided numbers familiar and unfamiliar to those who have seen the movie version.
Leading the cast are Albert Nault as Danny Zuko and Michaela Siemens as Sandy Dumbrowski. Both actors turned in excellent performances in terms of lines and lyrics on opening night, as did the entire cast of 33 actors playing minor to major roles.
Timeless songs, excellent choreography and a good dose of humour made for a great entertainment mix.
Director Vanessa King is joined by co-diretor Keegan Mabbitt, an MCHS alumnus who has worked with King on seven school plays. The directors were joined by Angeline Charrois and Riley Quinn as vocal coaches.
The three-night run is the first time MCHS has done its major play on the cultural centre stage. That change of venue allows the production to have full light, sound and seating. Principal Todd Eistetter said Thursday morning the school is shooting to beat its previous box office records with the run.
Grease: THe Musical will be performed Dec. 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45. Tickets are $8 and are available at Sobeys, the high school and at the door.