Out and About
Grease: The Musical onstage in Toronto beginning Nov 1, 2017
Most everyone knows the story of Grease, the boy-meets-girl summer romance that still remains one of the film industries top-grossing box office productions. That film shot John Travolta and Olivia Newton John into the world of fame, and garnered them both heart throb status to throng of movie goers. Now there’s an opportunity to relieve it all again live on stage at the elegant Winter Garden Theatre (189 Yonge Street)in Toronto, with a wonderful cast of characters, beginning November 1, 2017 for a limited run.
Irregular Entertainment producers David Galpern and Charles Roy present the Canadian production of Grease – The Musical, directed by Acclaimed Broadway Choreographer Josh Prince (Beautiful, The Carole King Musical; Shrek, The Musical). Janel Parrish (Pretty Little Liars) is playing the role of Sandy, Katie Findlay (How to Get Away with Murder, The Carrie Diaries) is playing the role of Rizzo and Dylan S. Wallach is playing the role of Danny.
Janel Parrish, star of ABC Freeform’s #1 rated show, Pretty Little Liars, and a finalist on Dancing with the Stars will lead the cast as Sandy. Janel got her start on Broadway as Young Cosette in Les Misérables. “”I’m beyond excited to return to the stage…Sandy has been a dream role of mine since I was a child, and a role I never thought I would be asked to play. As an Asian American woman, I’m thrilled to be able to say I can play Sandy. So thankful and excited for this opportunity!”
Canadian Katie Findlay, one of the stars of ABC/CTV’s How to Get Away With Murder and FXX’s Man Seeking Woman, plays the role of Rizzo. Findlay recently wrapped production as the star of a new TV show from Duncan Sheik, creator of Spring Awakening. Newcomer Dylan S. Wallach will perform the role of Danny. A graduate of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University drama program, Dylan has acted in Master of None on Netflix, and Love, Love, Love at Roundabout Theatre Company.
Other acctors playing principal roles in the production are as follows: Matt Magnusson (Kenickie), Annie Chen (Frenchy), Jessica Gallant (Marty), Henry Firmston (Doody), Benjamin Camenzuli (Roger), Hailey Lewis (Jan) and Jacob Tischler (Sonny).
“The cast we have assembled for this new Canadian production of Grease – The Musical, is a mix of established and seasoned professional actors, as well as up and coming actors, establishing their careers in this production, from both Canada and the U.S.,” said Director Josh Prince. Discussing mounting this production of Grease, Broadway Choreographer Josh Prince (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Shrek: The Musical) said, “I grew up in the Midwest and, like so many others, performed in a production of the show when I was in high school. I look forward to taking the show back to its roots and setting it firmly in the blue-collar Chicago of the late 1950s. For me, a big part of the fun of Grease is being able to see how far we’ve come since 1959 and yet still show how the themes of first love, friendship, and a search of identity are universal across generations. I feel honored to have the opportunity to give modern audiences a new perspective on this beloved classic piece of musical theatre.”
Grease opened on Broadway in 1971, written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, with additional lyrics for the film and post revival productions by John Farrar. It won two Drama Desk Awards, one Theatre World Award and received seven Tony Award nominations. It is Broadway’s 15th longest-running show of all time. Grease was made into a feature film in 1978, starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Jeff Conaway, Stockard Channing and Frankie Avalon. The original soundtrack for the motion picture sold 28 million copies. In 2016, Fox broadcasted a televised remake of the 1978 film that was seen by an estimated audience of 12.2 million viewers. 2018 will mark the 40th Anniversary of the film’s release.
Performances of Grease run Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., and matinees are on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at The Elgin Winter Garden Theatre Centre. Ticket prices range from $29-$159 and can be purchased online at www.greasetoronto.com , by phone at 1-855-985-5000, or at The Elgin Winter Garden Theatre Centre Box Office, 189 Yonge Street during regular business hours.
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Executive producer is Matt Weaver (Rock of Ages on Broadway and Chef’s Table on Netflix) and casting is led by Prime Time Emmy and Emmy Award winner Robert Ulrich (GLEE). Musical Direction by Elizabeth Baird (Kinky Boots, Mamma Mia, The Little Prince) The original high school musical, Grease – The Musical takes audiences back to 1959, and the final year at Rydell High for Danny, Sandy, Rizzo, Kenickie, Frenchy, Marty, Roger, Doody, Jan and Sonny. Legendary Doo Wop singer and arranger Phil Burton (Human Nature) has created brand new arrangements for some of the most famous songs from the film, which will be part of this production: Grease, Hopelessly Devoted to You, Sandy and You’re the One that I Want.
Grease: The Musical – Book, Music and Lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Directed and choreographed by Josh Prince, Musical Arrangements by Phil Burton, Musical Direction by Elizabeth Baird, Set Design by Paul Tate dePoo III, Costume Design by Cory Sincennes, Lighting Design by Michael Walton, Projection Design by Matthew Haber, Sound Design by Peter McBoyle, and Wigs, Hair and Makeup Design by Gerald Altenburg. Grease is produced by Irregular Entertainment – David Galpern and Charles Roy – and producer John Kelly, and executive producer Matt Weaver, and presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.