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December 17, 2017

You're the One That I Want -- Win Tickets to See Grease in TO

When we were kids, my parents took my sister and me to the theatre to see a musical ALL THE TIME. At least once a year. We grew up to love musical theatre, dance and drama and to this day, if I don't see a show at least once a year, I feel pretty bummed. I've always believed in supporting the arts community; there was no doubt in my mind I would be taking my kids to their first show one day.

Well, today, they saw their first musical. When I was offered tickets to see Grease the Musical in Toronto, I jumped on it. True, it's not a "kid" musical, but it's definitely family-friendly. If there's one thing you can count on with Grease -- you're going to get exceptional music and great dancing. The storyline is simple to follow and it's light-hearted and fun.
Grease was one of the first musicals I saw as a kid. Davy Jones from The Monkees played the role of Vince Fontaine, and my mom sent me up to get his autograph before the show. And this is why a trip to the theatre is so important, even with kids: 
  • they witness live theatre, or as Isabelle put it "real people on the stage"
  • you're supporting the local arts community, local theatre, the economy, tourism and more
  • kids learn about theatre etiquette, when to come in from intermission (the bells ring), where the orchestra sits, and even how to navigate through a Program and read the Synopsis and cast bios
Most importantly, it's an experience that creates a memory. While theatre tickets can be admittedly pricey, especially for kids, if you find an appropriate show, the experience is priceless.

Grease the Musical is playing at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto -- one of my all-time favourite theatres. It's simply magical. Most people know the storyline of Grease, thanks to the legendary movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. I could probably recite the entire film. But many people don't know that Grease was a Broadway production before it was a film, and according to Vanity Fair, more there have been more than 123,000 productions of Grease since it first began. 

The original story was set in Chicago, not California like the film, and that's what the Toronto director, Josh Prince, wanted to recreate. So there are some definite changes from the film, both in story and set. But the feeling of Grease is still there. The Greasers and the Pink Ladies. Danny and Sandy. Teenage love and graduation. And the favourite songs from the film bring the stage to life -- an explosive Greased Lighnin', a boppy We Go Together, a beautifully synched Hand Jive, and of course, You're the One that I Want. There are also newly created arrangements that have been added to this fresh revival of Grease. 

Once you wrap your head around the storyline not being exactly the same as the film, you can get carried away with the music. 

Now let me tell you about this pretty awesome cast. Firstly, many cast members are Canadian, and a good chunk from Toronto -- Sheridan Musical Theatre or Ryerson Theatre School grads. One of my old childhood neighbours was actually in the show, and we got to see him after the performance. Very cool props there. 

And the singing -- what powerhouse voices they have. Sandy, played by Janel Parrish, has a full resume from Les Mis to Pretty Little Liars to a stint on Dancing with the Stars. She is perfectly sweet as Sandy -- a triple threat with a beautiful voice, dance work and acting. Drew Plummer, a recent Sheridan grad, was a blushing understudy to lead Danny. He played the teen role well but electrified the theatre with this voice. And of course, Rizzo, played by TV and theatre actor Katie Findlay. Findlay has a knockout voice to complement Rizzo's sassy personality, but a softness everyone adores about the famous character. 

As a former dancer, I always pay close attention and the dancing was on-point. Articulate footwork and jive motions, flips, spins and tricks. Captivating from the start through the end. 

Grease the Musical has been extended through January at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto and guess what? I have an early Christmas present to the Grease lovers out there. I have 4 FREE TICKETS to give away for the performance on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22 at 7:30 p.m. I will pick a winner on Wednesday, Dec 20. Tell me on Instagram what your favourite Grease song is, and you'll be entered to win. To buy tickets online, visit the website.

Disclaimer: We received press tickets to see Grease the Musical in order to write this review. All opinions on my blog are my own.

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