Slick back your pompadour and dust off your leather jacket. Orangeville Music
Theatre has a plan for upcoming Summer Nights.
The local theatre troupe will debut their version of the cult classic Grease on
Friday (June 13) at the Orangeville Town Hall Opera House.
“Obviously everybody knows the movie, but it’s slightly different than the
movie,” said Craig Marshall, the production’s director. “It’s a great one to do in the summer. It’s a nice fun show about a summer romance.”
The story, based in the 1950s, starts on the first day of school, following a
summer romance between good girl Sandy and greaser Danny.
“You have this group of really cool guys and their leader is Danny,” Marshall
Danny and Sandy are both telling the tale of their summer romance together to
their separate groups of friends.
“Danny’s version is a little more embellished because he’s with a group of
guys,” Marshall said. “Sandy’s version is all about the wonderful romantic vacation she had.”
Danny and Sandy soon discover they are both students at the same high
“Danny has to struggle with trying to remain cool in front of his friends, and
still be the Danny she fell for in the summer who was a kinder nicer guy,” Marshall said.
While John Travolta and Olivia Newton John brought Grease to the silver screen
in the late 1970s, the story was originally a musical.
In the movie, the story was altered to make Sandy an Australian to accommodate
John. Other than that, OMT’s version is similar to the film.
“It’s very similar to what everyone knows and loves,” Marshall said. “There are
a couple different songs.”
In its production, OMT aims to honour the characters Grease fans know and
“We have little homages throughout the show to the original movie. People
expect it,” Marshall said. “At the same time, there’s the built-in familiarity that can help you.”
Although the story is set more than 50 years in the past, Marshall said the
content is still relevant today.
“We still deal with groups and cliques and conformity and trying to fit in,”
the director said. “It’s very timely and audience friendly.”
The local production will stay true to its 1950s setting.
“When it comes to a show like Grease I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel and
set it in the year 2010,” Marshall said. “I want to say as close to the original as I can.”
Recreating the Grease set is difficult considering the size constraints of the
opera house. However, Marshall is certain the troupe will pull it off.
“There is a car, but we’re limited by the size of the stage for what we can do,
but necessity breeds creativity,” He said. “It’s all about making the best use of the space that you can.”
Grease is Marshall’s first shot at directing an OMT production. Last year, he
starred in the company’s production of Shrek as the title character.
“I had a lot of fun working with them and they asked if I wanted to be involved
in another project,” he said. “So far we’re having a great time.”
He praised his cast as a welcoming and fun crew to direct.
“Community theatre can have a lot of politics at times,” Marshall said of the
troupe. “I feel a real combined sense of purpose with the group.”
Grease runs until June 28. For tickets, or more information, visit