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Greasing the wheels of Indigenous music, humour for Quesnel

Bear Grease is an Indigenous take on classic musical play

The Indigenous jokes come as quick as greased lightnin’ in the international hit musical that’s from about as far off-Broadway as a play can get. Planted under that satirical humour and adapted music are First Nations insights that will make Bear Grease the one that you want for one special summer night in Quesnel.

Bear Grease is a creative extension of the classic play and blockbuster movie that made John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John international stars, back in the ’70s. This version was created by American-Canadian creative couple Lightning Cloud, the rap duo comprised of MC RedCloud (Henry Andrade) from California and Lightning (Crystle Lightning) from Enoch Cree First Nation in Alberta.

They were inspired to adapt Grease into Bear Grease by high school students back in Lightning’s territory, with some extra motivation by the Edmonton Fringe Festival. The result is a true hit on both sides of the border.

Now it comes to Quesnel. Tickets are on sale for a pair of shows - a 2 p.m. matinee, and a 7 p.m. evening show - on Sept. 24 at the Chuck Mobley Theatre (Correlieu Secondary School).

There is also a 50-50 raffle underway ($10 per ticket, sellout jackpot of $5,000 to the winner, draw date Sept. 1), to help defer the costs of hosting such an ambitious touring production. You can get those 50-50 tickets and show tickets ($30 per seat) while they last at the Quesnel & District Community Arts Council office (500 North Star Road). It’s the arts council, with the help of Quesnel Live Arts, that is hosting Bear Grease as part of Culture Days.

The arts council is also in need of sponsorships for Bear Grease. West Fraser kicked that partnership campaign off with a $5,000 contribution and challenged area businesses, industries and residents to join them in support of this unique stage production. The cast is large, the crew is large, so the costs are substantial to deliver this rare “edutainment” event to Quesnel.

“We are also hosting a meet-and-greet with the cast between shows, so people can chat with the actors, singers and dancers. This event is free to the public, and is part of the Culture Days line-up of events,” said arts council president Cathy Heinzelman

For information on the benefits of sponsorship, to buy tickets to see the play, and to get in on the 50-50 tickets, call Dina at 250-992-8200 Ext. 8 or email at

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READ MORE: BC Culture Days will be launched in Quesnel