Did any of you catch the Grease: Live musical show last Sunday? I don’t have a TV so I didn’t but I managed to stream it on the public broadcasting network CTV in Canada online. Grease is one of my favorite movies ever! Its feel-good and fun and all that lovely stuff. You can check out my review for original movie HERE. Its one thing to want to do Grease since its a huge feat in itself but to do it live, that is taking it to another level. When I heard about it, I’m not going to lie, I was pretty impressed especially with the cast that it had.
Let’s check it out, shall we?
Grease: Live (2016)
Director: Thomas Kail & Alex Rudzinski
Cast: Aaron Tveit, Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Carlos PenaVega, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jordan Fisher, Keke Palmer, Ana Gasteyer
After enjoying a summer romance, high school students Danny and Sandy are unexpectedly reunited when she transfers to Rydell High. There Sandy must contend with cynical Rizzo and the Pink Ladies in attempt to win Danny’s heart again.-IMDB
Grease is a 2 hours and 15 minute live musical experience. There are little bits that were changed from the original. It feels like some songs were changed up and some scenes were modified, however, it does remain true to the original. Its a blast to watch and one that remembered to keep the point of Grease intact. The music was catchy, the young love was full of chemistry and the characters were fun and energetic to watch. The effort and practice that the cast had to make sure it all flowed perfectly between acres of set and going from one location to the next was definitely impeccable and one that I admire. I’m not exactly sure that having a live audience on set was really a good choice but at least it felt like it kept the energy there even if it at times, it emphasized that this was a show and not a story (if you know what I mean).
I guess, I would have to contradict the show part a little because the pro to it being that way is that there are added hosts. While I’m not crazy about the whole sending to commercials and whatnot sort of thing and I did stream it after so it meant nothing to me essentially, the starting bit with the cast credits and whatnot lead in by the cast running around and going through the sets with Jessie J singing was a really nice touch. Before I talk about the cast who are the highlight here, let me just say, how great is it that Boyz II Men played the Teen Angels and did that singing bit? Really awesome!! That’s my answer to that.
Finally, the cast! The highlight of the show was really in the cast and the energy that they brought. Aaron Tveit played Danny Zuko is perfect because he has the charisma to do it. If you don’t believe me, check out his video singing Popular from Wicked. Its a girl part but he adds such an adorable touch to it. With Danny Zuko, I absolutely thought he was so fun to watch. This guy is simply great! I’m not exactly sure I’ve been a great fan of Julianne Hough at the beginning of her career but in the last few years, she’s really changed my view of her and I’ve grown to appreciate her, maybe more as a performer and dancer than an actress but they let her show off some great dance moves and she does have a nice voice (which she did also show us in Burlesque). Aside from that, Vanessa Hudgens probably was the show stealer especially since she proved that she’s extremely professional especially with the passing of her dad just the day before. She did a stellar performance for Rizzo and brought on a nice attitude that the character had. Talking about this, the show did end with a little dedication to her father and that was a very respectable thing to do as well.
Moving on, Frenchy was always a really nice character in the original, while I didn’t dislike it, I thought that someone other than Carly Rae Jepsen might have done a better job, however, it was better than I expected. No complaints there. The boys playing the T-Birds was fun to watch. I really like Jordan Fisher playing Doody a lot. One of the other girls in Pink Ladies, Marty, played by Keke Palmer did a super fun number as well. I could go on with the cast and really say how I enjoyed each one. But I won’t, because it would be boring and if you don’t know the original, all this would probably seem meaningless. However, that isn’t saying that this one has a little something that is different, maybe its because its live and while there are parts that you know are just practical effects and playing with lights and whatnot to imitate a certain scene, it was done really good.
Overall, Grease: Live did not disappoint at all. It was almost as fun and energetic as the movie its based on. The set and the accomplishment of this might just open doors for more of these TV special live musicals to take place and that is something I’d look forward to a whole lot. Of course, that would have to include being able to get a cast that is as charismatic as this one to pull it off. You can see the hard work and the chemistry that the cast (and probably the crew) has worked together to make this happen. The effort for Grease: Live is definitely noted by me and if I had the chance, I’d watch it again. It respects the original and makes it suitable for TV, without hurting the story and what Grease meant to the audience whether its the catchy songs or the story about young love.
Did you catch Grease: Live on TV last weekend? Did you like it? Are you a fan of the original Grease?