Well this [musical] could be systematic- hydromatic- ultramatic. Why, couldn’t it be Greased Lightning! Grease: Live premiered Sunday, Jan. 31 on Fox. This musical was based off the original movie, Grease, which aired in 1978.
In this adaptation of the award-winning movie, the greaser T-birds gang and the Pink Ladies are back at Rydell High School in 1959. It starts off at the beach with Danny Zuko (played by Aaron Tveit) and Sandy (played by Julianne Hough) who reach the end of their summer romance. The storyline fasts forward to the first day of school of their senior year. The two spontaneously reunite and interact with their friends throughout the school year. With new dance numbers and several solos to exhibit this star-studded cast along the way, Grease: Live puts a spin on the original movie.
Vanessa Hudgens and Julianne Hough are a part of this talented cast. Hudgens appeared to have channeled her inner Sharpay to play a flawless Rizzo, the head of the Pink Ladies. Meanwhile, Hough seemed in her element as she played Sandy. Both of these talented actresses and singers fulfilled their roles to create a captivating performance. Aside from the leading ladies, the cast has many talented members that arise over the 180-minute duration of the musical, including the original Frenchy, Didi Conn.
Since the show was live, there were many costume elements and set changes that happened swiftly and smoothly. Between scenes, Fox took the cameras backstage to show the transitions. Cast members would drive around to each Warner Bros set in golf carts. One of the most obvious transitions was during a solo performed by Keke Palmer, who played one of the Pink Ladies, Marty. In this added solo, she had two costume changes while walking through a sliding set. The secret behind this change was layering of costumes to produce a smooth costume change and added a neat effect.
Being a fan of the original Grease myself, I would highly recommend Grease: Live. Different changes to the script and order of particular musical numbers helped keep the show running smoothly. Also, Carly Rae Jepsen’s (Frenchy) added solo was a nice touch that will definitely be added to my iTunes playlist! The dance numbers were synchronized and fun to watch. I think that this adaptation helped modernize the original Grease while keeping the simplicity of the storyline that everyone can enjoy watching.