Spruce Grove resident to star in Edmonton Musical Theater’s upcoming production of Grease

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Two actors with Spruce Grove ties are set to perform in an upcoming Edmonton Musical Theater production Fat.

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City resident Melanie Dobos will play Cha-Cha DiGregorio in a series of performances taking place at the Westbury Theater in Edmonton from Thursday, June 23 through Sunday, June 26. Additionally, Spruce Grove town employee Rod Caroca will play Doody, one of the Burger Palace Boys. Both cast members have been involved in acting since 2018.

“I’m really excited with how it all came together. We are totally ready for the stage and I hope everyone has a good time,” said Dobos.

Initially, the production was to be staged in 2020. As the theater’s first book exhibition (mainstream production), Fat was selected for its cross-generational popularity. Caroca said the theater wanted to prove its worth as a local company by putting on a show of such status.

The first auditions took place in early 2020, but when the pandemic hit in March, the theater was forced to cease all operations for the first time in its 40-year history.

“It was heartbreaking because I was so excited to finally have the opportunity to be in a musical that I had dreamed of for a long time. It was going to happen, and then it all stopped,” Dobos said.

Largely unchanged, the cast of around 30 reunited in March of this year to resume rehearsals. Since then, the cast has met three nights a week in preparation for this month’s series of shows.

As a former dancer, Dobos said the opportunity to regularly rehearse numbers has been a great creative and physical outlet for her. For Caroca, the best part of the process was reuniting with his castmates who he described as a wonderful ensemble with a lot of energy and work ethic.

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“We quickly bonded as a family,” Caroca said.

The production aims to maintain the integrity of the original musical, written in 1971 by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Caroca said the hope is that audiences can escape the pressures of their daily lives for the two hours they watch the show.

Sessions are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday June 23, Friday June 24 and Saturday June 25, with two additional mornings at 2 p.m. on Saturday June 25 and Sunday June 26. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for youth and seniors and can be purchased through tixonthesquare.ca, eventbrite.ca or by emailing [email protected] The Westbury Theater is located at 10330 84 Avenue.

“It’s an opportunity for (audiences) to step back in time and experience the music, the energy and the characters that are familiar to them. We hope everyone will come out and support local theater and our non-profit organization which has over 40 years of history. We are thrilled to present this show,” said Caroca.

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