New Brunswick

Saint Johner sings with Olivia Newton-John on world's largest cruise

Saint Johner Kory Fulton says it was the trip of a lifetime being able to play Danny Zuko, the male lead in the musical Grease, opposite none other than Olivia Newton-John on the world’s largest cruise ship last week.

Kory Fulton performs 2 songs from Grease with Newton-John, the movie's Sandy

Kory Fulton says he and Olivia Newton-John had to keep their plans to perform songs from Grease confidential for a while. (submitted)

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Saint Johner Kory Fulton says it was the trip of a lifetime being able to play Danny Zuko, the male lead in the musical Grease, opposite none other than Olivia Newton-John on the world's largest cruise ship.

The New Brunswicker works as an entertainer on Harmony of the Seas, and estimates he performed in front of 4,500 to 5,000 people last week with the star who portrayed Sandy in the 1978 hit film.

"Surprisingly, no, I wasn't nervous," Fulton said by phone from Puerto Rico. "She was so comfortable as well. That made it easier."

Learned at Harbour View

At Harbour View High School, whenever an extracurricular activity had a stage, Fulton was on it. 

"That is why I'm here," said Juliette Bossé, Fulton's high school theatre arts teacher. "This is the payoff." 

Fulton also participated in a number of Saint John Idols and generally placed somewhere in the top five during his early teen years, he said.

But his career really began to soar after he went to Ontario to study performing arts at Sheridan College and musical-theatre performance at St. Lawrence College.

St. Lawrence, in Cornwall, was also where he first portrayed the lovable but tough greaser John Travolta made famous, the 26-year-old said.

With a strong background, Fulton said he was able to leap into the cruise-ship business straight out of school.

Newton-John makes request

Thrills multiplied, the entertainer said, when he first heard Newton-John would be singing a duet with him.

"She asked if I could sing with her for a couple songs," he said. "We had to keep it confidential for a while, even from the cast."

Fulton and his fellow actors would typically put on Grease three times during a cruise, but a separate company rented out the Harmony of the Seas to host a gay cruise last week.

Fulton, who attended Harbour View High School in Saint John before studying in Ontario, says he wasn't nervous about singing with Newton-John. (submitted)

This third party was the one that landed the movie's Sandy as a special guest, Fulton said.

She performed a concert of various songs, two of which were the hit singles from the movie musical, Summer Nights and You're the One That I Want.

For those performances she called upon the the acting troupe for help, with Fulton soloing on lead male vocals.

Mother's idol

Fulton said the actress, whom he describes as "kind," was an idol of his mother's when she was growing up.

When he heard the news, he asked his mother if she ever thought her son would be sharing the stage with the four-time Grammy winner.

"She said, 'No.' Little did she know, here we are," Fulton said in Facebook Live before the show.

The performance is one of the highlights of Fulton's career so far, he said, but what he'll remember most is his family being able to experience it with him through social media and the friends he made while at sea.

"Obviously, meeting Olivia Newton-John was a highlight, but so was playing such an icon role for an always sold-out audience that's always so excited for the show, and the young people who come to the show and are inspired to perform."