Regular patrons of the theatrical productions produced by David Carpenter have come to expect near-perfect enjoyable performances from the youth of Boundary County and the presentation of Grease by Bonners Ferry Summer Youth Theater was no exception. It might seem ironic that today's techno-savvy teens of the 21st century would be able to portray teenagers of the mid-20th century closer in age to their grandparents' era, but these young actors gave their three performances all they had and showed that they could portray the exuberance and bittersweet moments of youth and young love no matter which generation.
The High Octane Performance Of The Grease Cast Captivated Audiences.
All of the cast members performed superbly. The talented company members were instrumental in creating the necessary diversity of background characters required to make the student body of Rydell High come to life. The performances of Andi Floyd playing Miss Lynch, Laura Worley as Patty, Nathan Grow portraying Eugene, Evan Dornfeld's triple duty as a company member, Johnny Casino and Teen Angel, Bailey Cavender as Vivian Fontaine and the irrepressible Tali Darrow as Cha Cha all added immeasurably to the ensemble of characters.
Behind the scenes, but just as important, Bailey Cavender as assistant director and stage manager, Brooklyn Wilson and Hannah Northrup on sound, Olivia Stahl who handled the spotlights and Josiah Owinyo who took charge backstage all worked together to make the magic happen on stage.
Chloe Cavender's portrayal of the na´ve but loyal Sandy and Ben Heart's portrayal of the fickle Danny Zuko were a matched set in terms of showcasing teenage angst. The two young actors danced and sang their way into our hearts and their first duet, "Summer Nights" was one of the most fun numbers of the play.
Ably portraying the male side of teen life, the Thunder Birds were both charming and amusing. The always energetic Jesse Tobin playing Roger, Toby Elliason's portrayal of the guitar playing Doody, Jake Merz's portrayal of Sonny and Colton Gibbins' talented portrayal, both vocally and athletically, of the sneering Kenickie gave the show just the right amount of male presence, not to mention great looking DA's and black leather jackets.
On the other side of the battle between the sexes, the Pink Ladies' performances were humorous and, at times, poignant. Sorelle Gibbins portraying the ever-hungry Jan, cynical Rizzo portrayed by Sara Owinyo, ditzy Frenchy played by Charena Bransum and boy crazy Marty played by Jaymi McGinn gave the show a female perspective and reminded many of us why poodle skirts went out of style.
All of the vocal solos throughout the play were top notch including the beautifully blended harmony from the Pink Ladies as Jaymi McGinn sang "Freddie, My Love" and Colton Gibbins' song to a young man's first "true love," his beat up jalopy, in "Greased Lightning." Of the several high voltage dance numbers that included the entire cast, "Born to Hand Jive" was one of the audience favorites. With Evan Dornfeld's vocal talent leading the way combined with the awesome chorography by Melanie Schreiner who was assisted by Charena Branscum, the troupe recreated the dance contests of the fifties in an absolutely hilarious manner and to much enjoyment from the audience. The final dance number of the show, "You're the One that I Want," allowed Chloe Cavender and Ben Heart to really let loose and shine vocally.
A special aspect to each of the performances was the cast members' touching tribute to Matt McLean at intermission as they sang "Mooning" while holding hands. There were few dry eyes in the audience as these young people demonstrated their esteem for their friend.
The polished performances of each of the Grease actors were a treat and the lively renditions of both the music and the dance moves of the fifties, let alone the fashions and the hair-do's, gave many of us "oldsters" in the audience just the right amount of nostalgia.