(Posted 11:30 a.m., April 16)
the word to describe Lester B. Pearson production of Grease
By Fred Sherwin
Khaddaj, as Danny Zucko, and Therese Agpoon, as Sandy D, perform in the
final number in the Lester B. Pearson production of 'Grease!'. Fred Sherwin/Photo
hard to believe that it's been 29 years since Grease! first hit the
movie theatres and produced a wildly successful soundtrack album that has
sold over 100 million copies.
Songs like "You're
the One That I Want" and "Summer Nights" have been etched
-- some might say regrettably -- into public psyche.
One of the things
that has kept the Grease! phenomena alive for so long is the fact
that the songs have managed to transcend the generation gap. DVD sales are
still incredibly strong as mostly moms continue to pass along their love
of the movie to their mostly daughters.
of the play's timelessness is the fact that it continues to be the most
often performed high school play in history.
This past week,
a highly energetic cast and crew took on the ambitious production at Lester
B. Pearson High School. The result was tremendously entertaining. Saturday
night's closing performance was witnessed by an enthusiastic standing room
only audience that ate up every number and often sang along.
As for the principal
players, Therese Agpoon was terrific as Sandy Dumbrowski, playing the part
with just the right amount of sweet innocence and adolescent naiveté.
But it was her voice that stood out the most, especially during her duet
with Cha Cha, played by Cassie Esprit, which opened the second half of the
As for Esprit's
performance, wow, my only regret is that she didn't get more stage time,
but that's one of the reasons that Grease! is such a popular high
school production. No one character monopolizes the production. The musical
numbers are spread out pretty evenly between the five or six main characters.
as Danny Zucko also delivered a strong performance especially when he had
to depend on his falsetto at the end of "Summer Nights" and "All
Choked Up". John Travolta would be proud.
that stood out include Sami Majdalany as Kernicke, Chantal Leveille as Rizzo
and Christian Pawlowski who did double duty as the smooth talking radio
deejay Vince Fontaine and the Teen Angel.
as well about Elizabeth Aylward who played one of the Burger Palace Boys
and SeWon Park who was a revelation. As a member of the chorus, Park's energy
and enthusiasm stood out above the pack and even end him several spontaneous
Speaking of the
chorus, as strong as the individual performances were, it was the large
production numbers that made the play such a wonderful spectacle. "Born
To Hand-Jive", "All Choked Up" and "We Go Together"
were all superb.
Speaking of superb,
kudos to set designers Leslie Morin and Barbara MacLellan and Robert Beckett
who headed up the set construction team. All the sets were professionally
done and helped raise the quality of the overall production.
The Lester B.
Pearson stage band also did an amazing job providing the musical accompaniment
under the direction of Pierre Huneault.
Besides the actors
already mentioned, the remainder of the principal cast included Sabrina
Mayer as Frenchie, Haley Bentham as Patty Simcox, Laura Young as Jan, Erin
Gurski as Marty, Daniel Rheaume as Roger, Nikolas Angelo as Sonny, Tara
Donis as Joni Casino, Fiona Griffin as Miss Lynch and Brandon Kennedy as
The chorus was
made up of Betty Dib, Ashley Fuentes, Serena Diab, Tyler Graham, April Haggart,
Christopher Marton, Sophia Pantuso, Jose Sandoval, Marina Scherf and Charles
all direction was the director Nona Luchenski-MacMillan, assistant director
Sally Branch and stage manager Chantal Calderone.
of the cast perform the hand-jive during the Lester B. Pearson production
of 'Grease!' last week. Fred Sherwin/Photo
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
to Front Page