As part of the international touring company of Grease, set to arrive in Vancouver on October 26th, the show’s Assistant Choreographer and Assistant Director, Joseph Corella, says he has always loved musical theatre.
“There’s just something about dance within a story. That is where my heart is,” said Corella who credits his brother for getting him interested in dance at age seven, despite his own desires to be a baseball player.
Having studied a variety of dance styles including ballet and hip-hop, Corella was drawn to musical theatre after seeing a performance of Phantom of the Opera and has now himself appeared on Broadway in All Shook Up and in the recently completed national tour of Grease as Dance Captain and understudy to Sonny and Eugene.
Back with this newest Grease tour, Corella is now on the other side of the table as both Assistant Choreographer and Assistant Director. Of course, having lived Grease for the last two years on tour and having been a huge fan of the movie as a kid, the transition to the other side of the table for Corella seems to be both a natural and easy one. “As Dance Captain you must know the show inside and out,” explained Corella. “You need to keep the integrity of the show, listen to the choreographer and even help teach new cast members the show when they join.”
Talking to me by phone between rehearsals in Missouri a couple of weeks ago, Corella had nothing but great things to say about this new touring company. “I am excited to be working with the likes of Choreographer Joyce Chittick and Director David O’Brien”, he said. “And I know it sounds corny to say it, but this cast is really great”.
Included in that cast is Matt Nolan in the role of Danny. Some will remember Nolan as an eliminated contestant on the NBC reality series “You’re The One That I Want”. Nolan’s first time at bat as Danny in a professional show of Grease, Corella says that he makes a great Danny and obviously brings a lot to the production having been part of the reality show.
Also on tap for this tour is Eddie Mekka, perhaps best known for his role as Carmine Ragusa on the sitcom Laverne and Shirley. Stepping into the role of DJ Vince Fontaine, Corella says Mekka has made the rehearsal process a great deal of fun and assures us he really does know how to sing.
With the tour just opened in Denver, Corella told us he was looking forward to returning to Los Angeles to be with his husband Jonathan Sandler; the two were legally married in Massachusetts in 2009. And while there is a good chance that he might end up on the road with the tour at some point to help work out any kinks, for now he is content to just be at home with his second love.
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
26 – 31 October 2010
After spending a hopelessly devoted summer with Sandy Dumbrowski, the new girl in town, Danny Zuko’s world is thrown upside down when Sandy appears at Rydell High on the first day of school. What follows is a rock n’ roll celebration of growin’ up, cruisin’ with friends and goin’ steady. Tickets go on sale on Monday, August 23rd at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone 604-280-4444 or online ticketmaster.ca