Grease musical revs up crowd

Actors and actresses from Ponoka Composite High School put a lot of time and effort into their long awaited performance of Grease and that energy was shown in their first presentation on Feb. 16.

Actors and actresses from Ponoka Composite High School put a lot of time and effort into their long awaited performance of Grease and that energy was shown in their first presentation on Feb. 16.

The 15 members of the cast and extras had their hair all greased up, were dolled up and ready to perform and their excitement radiated from the stage from the time of their opening act to the last scene.

The play kicked off with the Grease theme song accompanied by a well-choreographed dance by Tanis Stevens, Brittney Matjeka, Brani-Lynn McClaflin and Samantha Sperber who donned costumes and hair well suited to the time period.

The play, set at Rydell High, carried the same storyline, songs and themes as the 1978 film with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John but the student actors added some unique alterations of their own.

Bethany Marois, who played Sandy, and Danny played by Kai Thomson stole the show with their chemistry and wit and successfully presented the complications of high school love.

The issues of young love were best shown in the drive-in scene where Danny takes Sandy to see a movie and gives her his school ring. Danny expects that since Sandy has taken the ring he gets to make his next move. Danny’s high-pitched response after getting too close to Sandy was a favourite for the audience. After Sandy stormed off Danny’s solo, ‘Sandy’ was both soulful and comical.

The costumes were flashy and colourful and the sets for each scene were crucial to the play.

The Pink Ladies and the leather-wearing T-Birds added a lot of humour and drama to the production as well as some extra talents. At one point Doody from the T-Birds, played by Andrew Jacobs impressed the audience by juggling during one of the scenes.

The play kept a good balance between the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds and showed the love and rivalry between them and they were kept in good dynamics.

When it came time for the cast to perform ‘Born to Hand Jive’ at the school dance the energy rippled throughout the audience and some were keeping to the beat with their toes while others tried to hand jive from their seats. The announcer Vince Fontaine, played by Chandler Vold, donned a flashy jacket and slicked back hair as he enthusiastically ordered out the rules to the dance in a lyrical fashion with the persona of a talk show host.

T-Bird Kenickie, played by Benjamin Goodwin brought Cha Cha who was acted by Joel Ronnie as his date to the dance and he was a big hit. He was the highlight of the dance with his blonde wig, dress and corsage. His animated dance moves and smile on his face added a lot of character to the scene.

Although the play did experience some technical difficulties at times, they pushed through it like experts and received a good response from the audience.

“I really enjoyed it,” said Laurie Vold. “I thought it was great, especially the Danny character.”

Jill Hornby, a teacher at PCHS also came out to watch the performance and thought the students worked really hard to make all this happen.

“ I thought they all did a great job. Thompson had a great sense of comedic timing and Fookes did a wonderful job as Rizzo, it was a lot of fun to watch,” she said.

The cast had been practicing since October and was directed by Aryn Street. The students at PCHS had been asking for years to perform this play and this year they finally got their wish. The play was made possible by a complete school effort, not just the musical theatre class, and included the woodworking class and other departments of the school.

Overall the response from the crowd was positive and the music, dance and the set made it a production to be proud of.

“It was very good,” said Paul Thomsen. “I think the amateurs were actually better than the professionals.”

There will be another chance to catch the musical as Grease will be hitting the stage again on Feb. 22 and 23 in the gym at PCHS.