A star-studded cast filled the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, Ca., in a live broadcast of the famous 1978 film Grease.
Julianne Hough took the role of Sandy and Aaron Tveit played her leading man, Danny Zuko. Vanessa Hudgens performed as Pink Ladies leader Rizzu, despite her tragic loss. On Saturday night her father, Greg Hudgens, lost his battle to cancer. Hours before the show Vanessa tweeted out, “Today, I do the show in his honor.”
Grease the movie is known for its fantastic singing and dancing, and who doesn’t love watching John Travolta in a leather jacket, Grease: Live
El Niño made an appearance at the top of the show with lots of rain during the first set change. But that didn’t stop Jessie J’s performance of Grease. She strutted through the lot rocking her new short do which was a great way to start the show.
Boys II Men sang their rendition of Beauty School Drop Out, just after Carly Rae Jepson (Frenchy) sang All I need is an Angel. Being a fan of Jepson’s Call Me Maybe, I couldn’t help but cringe during her solo performance. Definitely not the best from the show. DNCE performed at Rydell High’s spring dance as Johnny Casino and the Gamblers.
Speaking of the spring dance, this scene had always been my favorite from the film and I believe it lived up to the standards of the film. The choreography done by Zach Woodlee looked great on camera and was probably even better in person.
The final scenes of the film are the most memorable with Grease: Live being no exception. The program finished quite well with You’re the one that I want and We go Together. The cast joined together for the big musical number that had me dancing the whole time. Great use was made of the sets during the finale, starting in the school’s gym and ending in an outdoor set.
Watching the actors switch between the three different stages was fascinating. Having the camera switch angles to change a scene was a great notion from broadcast director Alex Rudzinski. It takes a lot of planning to create a production this big, which is why the actors have been rehearsing for the last eight weeks. Along with Rudzinski, Grease: Live had Broadway director Thomas Kail. The audience was also part of the show, sitting in the bleachers for most of the program, they were able to interact with actors and be in the center of all the action.
Grease is one of those movies you have to see at least once in your life. To play one the iconic characters from the film had to have been a challenge with much added pressure. I have to commend the actors for pulling together a production like that and while performing for three hours straight. The actors in Grease: Live lived up to my expectations but nothing beats the original film.
The production had the feel of watching a Broadway show from the comfort of your own home. I hope additional shows take on the same idea and bring more productions to television.