Matt Alfano, left, plays Danny in the musical blockbuster ‘Grease’ that will take the stage at the Chemanius Theatre this summer, while Quinn Cartwright, right, plays the part of Sandy. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Review: ‘Grease’ brings summer fun, nostalgia to Chemainus Theatre

The production is anchored by fine performances and excellent musical numbers

Summer fun has come to the Chemainus Theatre Festival in the form of classic musical Grease, which is sure to be a hit with audiences looking for a little nostalgia and a lot of great music.

The production is anchored by fine performances and excellent musical numbers that highlight both the vocal and dance skills of the cast.

Matt Alfano as lead Danny Zuko shows off his dancing chops as the charming bad boy that good girl Sandy (Quinn Cartwright) sets her romantic sights on. Cartwright hits the right notes of sweet and sassy, foreshadowing her eventual transformation, giving the happy ending to this opposites attract pairing. Their attempt to turn a summer romance into a more long-lasting relationship back in the real world of friends and expectations is the central storyline of the show and thanks to the likeable performances of the leads we are rooting for them to make it work.

The supporting cast is where this show really proves a must-see, with standout performances from a number of the actors.

First and foremost is a seething portrait of Sandy’s female foil, the worldly, cynical and sometimes downright mean Betty Rizzo, brought to life in spectacular fashion by Kaleigh Gorka, who leads the social clique Sandy hovers around the edges of. But thanks to Gorka’s performance, Rizzo is also vulnerable and sympathetic. Her final solo is a showstopper that earned some of the most enthusiastic applause of the night, and a big round of applause for Gorka when the cast took their bows.

Two of the best voices in the cast belong to Steffanie Davis as Pink Lady Jan, and Kevin McLachlan who does double duty as greaser Roger and imaginary Teen Angel.

Perennial Chemainus Theatre favourite Sarah Carlé is also excellent in her dual role of aspiring beautician Frenchy and the forbidding teacher Miss Lynch.

On opening night the musical numbers started with a bang and then just got more confident and impressive as the night went on. There have been musicals at the Chemainus Theatre before with great sound, but one of the things that stands out in this production is the choreography and dance. It gives the group numbers high energy and a lot of colour. Choreographer Julie Tomaino and assistant choreographer Lyndsey Britten have managed to do a lot on the relatively small Chemainus Theatre stage.

All your favourite songs are here, including ‘Greased Lightning’, ‘We Go Together’, and ‘You’re the One That I Want’. The ensemble doesn’t disappoint for those who have heard these pieces before.

Grease runs from June 8 to Sept. 1. For tickets check out chemainustheatre.ca or call the box office at 1-800-565-7738.

Just Posted

Mary Lowther column: Flocculation and other dirty chemical reactions

Regardless of soil type your compost will benefit enormously with the addition of clay.

Duncan Pirates named most sportsmanlike at Hopwo tourney

Ladysmith teams take three of top four spots

No easy answers for Cowichan River access through private property

Trespassing on land adjacent to Cowichan River continues

HarbourCats a hit in Cowichan Valley

Victoria ball team stops in Duncan, Chemainus, Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan

VIDEO: ‘My Funny Valentine’ delves into effect of tragedy

When a teenage boy is killed for an innocent question, the answers are hard to take

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

GoFundMe page launched for families of missing Vancouver Island fishermen

Search for three men whose vessel capsized near Tofino on June 15 continues.

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Police look for driver of blue Jeep who may have helped at fatal crash

A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash near Delta on June 2

Most Read