Grease WECAP

Grease is the word at St. Thomas of Villanova in LaSalle, where the Windsor-Essex Community Arts Project (WECAP) has brought the beloved musical back to life with a sizzling new production. Directed by the talented Bonnie Porteous, this updated take on the classic show proves that the Pink Ladies and T-Birds are still the coolest cats in town. With closing performances on Friday, and Saturday, April 12-13, audiences have just a few more chances to experience this electrifying revival.

Set in 1959 at the fictional Rydell High School, Grease follows the story of ten working-class teenagers as they navigate the complexities of peer pressure, politics, personal core values, and love. At the heart of the story is the romance between hot-rodding gangster Danny Zuko and the sweet new girl in town, Sandy Dumbrowski. They had a secret romance over the summer, but now back in the context of school, peer-pressure and cliques make their love a bit more complicated. The show tackles social issues such as teenage pregnancy, peer pressure, and gang violence, as well as themes of love, friendship, teenage rebellion, and sexual exploration during adolescence.


It’s important to note that this production is based on the original 1971 musical, which features a different song order and additional musical numbers compared to the well-known 1978 film adaptation.

From the moment the curtain rises on Rydell High, the audience is transported back to the 1950s with a burst of youthful energy that’s impossible to resist. The cast of 28 talented performers brings a fresh perspective to the iconic characters, making them relatable to modern audiences while staying true to the essence of the original. Newcomer Arshia Zaman’s powerhouse vocals as Rizzo, Peyton DelPapa’s spunky yet sensitive portrayal of Sandy, and Jamieson MacNeil, who rocked with the moves and voice of Travolta, are just three of the many standout performances that keep the audience hopelessly devoted from start to finish.

While the overall production was outstanding, there were a few noticeable sound issues that occasionally distracted from the incredible performances on stage. However, the cast and crew handled these technical difficulties with professionalism and grace, ensuring that the audience remained engaged and entertained throughout the show. As WECAP continues to grow and develop, addressing these sound concerns will undoubtedly be a priority for future productions.

Choreographer AnnaJayne MacNeil’s innovative dance numbers are the real showstoppers, with the cast executing each step with precision and flair. A tap number showcases the versatility of the performers, while the classic hand jive has the audience itching to join in. MacNeil’s high expectations and the cast’s hard work during the rehearsal process have paid off in spades, resulting in a visually stunning and engaging performance that’s sure to be the one that you want.

Under the direction of vocal director Ian Smith, the music of Grease has never sounded better. Smith’s inspirational methods and uplifting instruction have not only helped the cast master the iconic songs but also developed them as singers in their own right. From the summer lovin’ of “Summer Nights” to the electrifying “Greased Lightnin’,” the beloved hits are performed with a fresh energy that has the audience tapping their toes and singing along.

WECAP’s creative team has carefully updated the script and lyrics to ensure that the show remains relevant and appropriate for modern audiences. While some of the more controversial material has been removed, the core themes of peer pressure, teen romance, and the search for identity still resonate with today’s youth. The result is a production that feels both nostalgic and contemporary, a testament to the timeless appeal of Grease.

The bond among the cast members is evident in every scene, with their support for each other’s success shining through in their performances. Director Porteous praises the lack of infighting or jealousy within the group, a testament to the positive and nurturing environment fostered by WECAP. Rising stars like Larissa Porteous and Jenna Ward anchor the cast with their exceptional talent and dedication, while the ensemble as a whole is a force to be reckoned with, their energy and enthusiasm infectious throughout the production.

WECAP’s commitment to fostering the arts scene in Windsor-Essex County extends beyond their annual musical production. The organization provides performance opportunities for local artists and collaborates with other theatre companies to promote and support the arts community. By investing in the talent and passion of young performers, WECAP is ensuring that the future of theatre in the region is bright.

As the final notes of “You’re the One That I Want” fade away and the cast takes their well-deserved bows, it’s clear that WECAP’s production of Grease is a triumph. With its talented cast, innovative choreography, and passionate creative team, this show is a must-see for anyone who loves musical theatre or simply wants to experience the joy and energy of youth performance at its finest.

Don’t miss your chance to see Grease at St. Thomas of Villanova in LaSalle, with closing performances on Friday, and Saturday, April 12-13. Get your tickets now and join Danny, Sandy, and the rest of the Rydell High gang for a night of summer lovin’, fast cars, and unforgettable musical numbers that will have you singing and dancing long after the curtain falls. WECAP’s production of Grease is the perfect way to celebrate the magic of musical theatre and the boundless talent of our community’s young performers.


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