Nelson Youth Theatre Company
"Inspiring the future through creativity"
NELSON'S ORIGINAL AWARD WINNING YOUTH THEATRE COMPANY
Nelson Youth Theatre
Theatre Royal, September 19
Reviewed by Tami Mansfield
A nearly sold out audience assembled Wednesday night at the Theatre Royal to watch Nelson Youth Theatre's production of Grease, the 1950s style musical written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.
Grease has an undeniably catchy soundtrack (this production includes songs specific to the 1978 film, "Hopelessly Devoted to You", "You're the One That I Want" and the Barry Gibb written title track "Grease.")
The plot of Grease follows two gangs of working class kids and the themes are teen pregnancy, peer pressure (both sexual and drinking/ smoking), dropping out of school, and trying to find themselves. In its 1971 conception, this musical was meant to be raw and gritty and even uncomfortable.
Director Richard Carruthers said "I let the actors do what they wanted to do - I didn't stop them".
I couldn't agree more. This smart cast of 31 shows ownership ; I'm grateful for their bravery and the fact that they are hilarious. Across the stage is good acting and huge and gorgeous vocals/ harmonies.
The choreography by Aimee Robinson and Alex Jensen should win a treasure chest of gold for the precision and energy of the crazy-cool dances. My choreographer date said: "I find no holes in this choreography."
Triple threat standouts are Matthew Edgar (Roger) and Madison Kilworth (Jan) who consistently nail their authentic characters. Rizzo played by MacKenzie Gardner is a deep talent. The chemistry between Danny (Seth Blackburn) and Sandy (Caitlin Brennan) is gorgeous and they are both skilled singers and actors.
The hair (Aboki), incredible costumes and props (Tracy Saunders and team), and make-up (17 on crew) are stunning and technically the show will be slick.
Grease runs September 19-22 and 25-29 at the Theatre Royal. I highly recommend getting tickets.