I didn’t have very high expectations heading in to the preview night of the Cote Saint-Luc Dramatic Society’s presentation of Grease the musical. It’s not like I was headed to Places des Arts for a night on the town. Boy, was I wrong.
Renowned local director Anisa Cameron assembled a talented group of actors and singers that burned up the quarter-mile right through the Harold Greenspon Auditorium of the Cote Saint-Luc City Hall. A west end who’s who of politicos, sponsors, media and VIPs filled the cosy theatre and were quickly crooning with Sandy D. and Danny. Mayor Anthony Housefather and members of Council were joined by Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg and his wife Doris, along with Councillors Bonnie Feigenbaum and Michael Goldwax, City of Montreal Executive member and CDN-NDG Borough Mayor Michael Applebaum, D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman and many more.
Councillor Mitchell “Vince Fontaine” Brownstein, credited with launching the Dramatic Society, belted out tunes including Handjive and Beauty School Dropout, and was joined on stage by his son Matthew “Charlie, T-Bird” and CSL Public Works Manager Bebe “Principal Lynch” Newman. Mitch has had a life long passion with performing arts and his efforts are well appreciated.
A surprise birthday cake was presented during the intermission to Mayor Housefather. The entire audience joining in singing Happy Birthday.
Ben Warner did a brilliant job of performing the role of Danny Zuko. Ben was energetic, singing and dancing like a star. This guy has talent!
Octavia Dumas played Sandy D. As cute as Olivia Newton John and able to sing delicately with grace and charm, she has a future in the arts as well.
The cast of young, and some less young were totally on fire – funny, well choreographed and in sync. The six piece live band added immensely to the feeling of a major stage production yet the tiny theatre gave everyone a front row centre seat.
My friends, Sandie Sparkman and Davina Shapiro, couldn’t stop tapping along and singing to the music. The audience erupted in a standing ovation as the curtains dropped.
The show runs from January 26 to 29 at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium at 5801 Cavendish Blvd.
This is first major production of the new community theatre group, which performed Dining Out last fall to a packed house. Tickets are available at the CSL Public Library (5851 Cavendish Blvd.), the Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Ave.), or by telephone at 514-485-6806. Tickets cost $22 for general admission, or $18 for students (with valid student identification) or seniors (age 60 and older). Showtimes are 8 pm on January 26, 27, 28 and 29. There are also 2 pm matinees on January 28 and 29.
Who needs Places Des Arts when you’ve got such a fun musical playing in your own backyard? Run to get tickets as it will surely sell out.
9 Minutes of Grease: