Grease Live

I didn’t see a thread so if this a duplicate, please merge, etc. . .

Did anyone watch this last night? I thought they did a fantastic job.

It was pretty entertaining, but not so compelling to keep me from turning to Galavant midway through.

I thought Vanessa Hudgens was good as Rizzo but some of the other cast members immediately hit me as way to old to play high school students. What made that more jarring than, for example, the movie portrayals was that in the scenes that showed the audience, the cast seemed way older than most of the spectators.

A good chunk of the 1978 cast (the show that most people know) was in their 30’s as well. Rizzo, for example, was 34.

Something else I learned a while ago (here, I think) is that it’s very common to have the main cast be much older then everyone else. On kids shows it makes sense just because an older actor is usually going to be a better actor, but on a show about a high school, the older actors stand out instead of getting lost in the crowd.

And just for anyone that was living under a rock last night, Vanessa Hudgen’s dad died a few hours before the show went live.

I had not heard that (from under my boulder). What a trooper. And I agree, she did a great job as Rizzo. I really can’t come up with any complaints with the production but it would be nice if they had a few intermissions and clumped all the commercials together as opposed to breaking away the usual way. Not gonna happen, I realize.

I saw bits of it. Grease is not a particularly good musical to begin with (then again, all the live TV musicals since NBC revived them were not the best the genre has to offer). The score is only so-so and the story is very problematic. And I can’t think of any musical that has such contempt for all its characters. They’re merely one-dimensional characters who are there for the audience to feel superior to and sneer at.

However, I will say the staging was superb. They made the most of their material, and the sets were the star of the show.

I preferred Gallivant.

I thought it was great as well, plus they were doing a lot of (live) behind the scenes stuff on facebook so my daughter and I had that going as well.

I was amazed at all the negative comments I saw on facebook. I understand, haters gonna hate and all, but a lot of people jumped right in with how different it was from the musical…right from the first few minutes. People explained that it’s based in the original production, as was the musical so that’s why they weren’t quite in sync, but that didn’t stop people.
The dancing was pretty good as well, again, I don’t think people seem to understand that when something is live it can’t be as complex as it can be when you have 3 hours to film one 3 minute routine. And then you have to go and do another number on another set 200 yards away and you have to be there in 45 seconds…and it’s raining so your makeup has to be touched up and your clothes might have to be dried.

Furthermore, I’m guessing a lot of people that didn’t think it was ‘as good’, probably haven’t seen the 1978 musical in years anyways.

Lastly, we had The Wiz live a few months ago, now Grease Live, I hope they keep doing this, they can just keep getting bigger and better.
ETA, I’m also glad that they kept the story in tact and as, more or less, raunchy as I remember it. They did take the downright explicit stuff out of Greased Lightning, but they could have rearranged the entire store to make it a G-Rated kids show if they wanted to.

I watched the first two hours, then ceded control of the TV to my wife because she was interested in seeing the Bonnie & Clyde documentary on PBS. It was a reluctant choice, but I was wiped out and wanted to go to bed anyway.

Overall, I was very impressed with it. The choreography was amazing at times, and, for the most part, the vocal performances were at least serviceable. Whatever Julianne Hough lacks in a singing voice (and hers isn’t bad; it’s just not terribly strong) is more than made up with her dancing skills. The sets, and the transitions between them, were fantastic.

I thought it was interesting that the producers went for a hybrid between the stage production and the 1978 movie, with a bit of updating and sanitizing thrown in (I was particularly interested in the lyrics to “Greased Lightnin’,” especially for a show presented on network television). Changing the character of Teen Angel to a triumvirate of Boyz II Men was a pretty big risk, and it paid off extremely well.

The choice to have a live studio audience as part of the cast (in the dance competition and other scenes at the gym, for instance) was a good one as well, I think. It must have been a blast to have been there.

This was the first of the recent live musicals on TV I watched; it convinced me to try some more.

I was thinking about this point on the drive to work this morning: the original musical *Grease *premiered in 1971, 12 years after the year that it’s supposed to depict (1959). If someone were to produce a high school musical today celebrating the times of a dozen years, ago, it’d be set in the halcyon days of 2004.

I was a little mixed on it. I am very familiar with both the movie and the original musical, so I was excited to see how they were going to do the combo (it was billed like that).

I thought almost all the musical numbers were terrific. I was happy that they brought back some of the great songs that were left out of the movie. It was really clever how they incorporated the live audience into this enormous set – I loved how it still felt like live theater even as the cast was moving around in the various spaces.

I was surprised that so many of the performances seemed to be directly referencing the movie, right down to gestures and inflections. Instead of watching Aaron Tveit playing Danny Zuko, it felt like watching Aaron Tveit playing John Travolta playing Danny Zuko. It didn’t feel like anyone was bringing anything new or nuanced to the story. I suppose that’s okay, that’s it supposed to be a fun tribute to Grease (the movie), but I was hoping for something different, or something that brought back some of the grittiness that’s in Grease (the original musical).

And, given that the production wasn’t doing that much to change the tone of Grease (the movie), some of the rewrites of the dialogue seemed pointless, and inserting more of a Patty/Eugene story didn’t add anything.

All that said, I enjoyed watching it with my daughter, who was very taken with the song and dance numbers.

There’s a Buzzfeed post from someone who was in the audience, it’s interesting to read about how things were done.

There hasn’t been as big of a difference from 2004 to 2016 as there was from the 50’s to the 70’s. You went from Greasers to Hippies and landing a man on the moon in the middle of it.

On the other hand, think 1992-2004 or stretch it out a bit more and you’re looking at (for example) going from no such thing as the internet to carrying the entire world’s collective knowledge around in our pocket and always being connected to everyone all the time.
Did it bug anyone else that almost every (student aged) male in show, except for Danny (most of the time) and Eugene was wearing black Converse All Star High Tops? I understand they were common, but, literally, everyone.

It was a live show and I believe they did an outstanding job. The movie version had the benefit of multiple retakes and hours of editing.

The set transitions went smoothly, the dialog had a few changes (that might have annoyed those who have memorized the movie version), the cast appeared a bit older than they should have appeared, but I give the whole production an A+.

One of the few things that really seemed out of place, to me, was the band at the dance competition. They had a rather futuristic look to them, even for now. A couple of wigs and they would have been fine, but they looked really out of place.
With everything else being so perfect, I’m curious why they were allowed to look like that.

I like how the dresses the girls wore at the dance were similar to what they wore in the movie, down to Rizzo’s red polka dot dress.

And did anyone notice Didi Conn (movie Frenchy) playing the waitress Vi?

I also realized that the movie was very white. Nice to see diversity in the live show.

I was shocked how much I enjoyed that. Not only were the performers excellent (well a lot of them were) but the camera work and directing were top notch. Apparently the director is also the director of Hamilton. I wouldn’t be surprised to hearing a news story of him getting to helm a movie soon.

Oh yeah, I was going to say how fun it was to see Didi Conn. And Carly Rae Jepson was cute as Frenchy, although I didn’t really care for the Boyz II Men performance of Beauty School Dropout. I usually think they’re ok, but that’s my favorite song in the production so I felt like their melisma kind of ruined it.
I’m another one who was wondering how they would change the lyrics to *Greased Lightning *, which then got me to trying to recall what we did with it in school. All in all I don’t thing the censoring was too bad but for some (irrational) reason, I feel like a play shouldn’t be censored. Especially when there really isn’t anything that racy in it. Something along the lines of “would you not take you kid to see it at the theater? In that case, don’t watch it on tv”. Like I said, not rational.

Jessie J killed it!

Enjoyed the whole show.

I did notice some changes…Danny wasn’t smoking when he went to the coach to talk about joining a sport, Sandy wasn’t ripped away from Danny during the dance so Cha-Cha could substitute (she got camera shy and bolted), and Patty’s skirt fell off by accident, not lifted up by Doody.

The other one that stuck out to me was changing Putzie’s line (about Jan) from “there’s more to you than just fat” to something about “you’re not as weird as people say.” I don’t have any issue with changing it, but noticed they left in a lot of other dialogue about Jan’s eating and weight.

Oh yes. I have a large girl crush on JJ.

The Sandy/Camera Shy thing, I noticed that too, probably mostly because I skimmed through the musical that morning. I’m assuming that’s the way it was originally, but I don’t know. But I liked the musical version better. When she got yanked away, she had every right to be mad. When she got camera shy (or rather, worried she’d get caught), Danny wasn’t wrong to finish the dance with ChaCha. She left him in the spotlight, on national TV with no partner and no explanation. He found a new partner and finished the show.

Regarding the smoking, I think we all know there wasn’t going to be any smoking, but the Pink Ladies looked like they were trying to quit. They were either playing with cards, chewing gum, messing with their hair or doing something along those lines. Don’t get me wrong, I think they were all doing those things in the musical as well (was Rizzo always messing with a deck of cards), but when you remember how much they smoked it just looks funny in that context.

IMO, it would have been nice if they threw in a quick reference to it. Maybe the coach telling Danny that he’ll need to quit or asking him if he’s been smoking. Just a one liner that you almost don’t notice.

Come to think of it, at the sleepover Riz did say ‘you probably don’t smoke either’ before the Sandra Dee song, so I guess there’s that.