Competing alongside NBC with their live productions of “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan,” FOX threw it all the way back to the 50s with their own live production of “Grease” Sunday night.
I don’t think they could have picked a better cast to play the iconic roles. With Julianne Hough as Sandy, Aaron Tveit as Danny Zuko, Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo, Carly Rae Jepsen as Frenchie, Carlos PenaVega as Kenickie, Boys to Men as Teen Angel and Didi Conn as Vi the Waitress.
The reason I mention Conn is because she played Frenchie in the original 1978 production of “Grease!” It was great that they included a member of the original gang in the live production.
I don’t have anything bad to say about the cast. They did a fantastic job and put their all into their performance. Especially Hudgens, who is best known as Gabriella Montez in the Disney Channel trilogy “High School Musical,” who lost her father to cancer the night before, dedicating her performance to him.
“Summer Nights,” which is one of the most iconic scenes from the movie, was the biggest let down. The scene was done inside in a gymnasium, while, in the original movie, it was done outside in a courtyard. I understand they can’t make it exactly the same, but it gave it a different feel. There was also a lot of blank space in the scene. With over 60 extras in the cast, they could have definitely included more to that scene to give it that high school feel of everyone walking about, doing their thing.
The best scene by far? “Grease Lightning!” The way they put together this scene was absolutely stunning. They added girls to the scene as some dancers which gave it a different dimension. I was very impressed with the dancing from the guys. Of course, they choose people who can dance, but they really seemed to work the guys to get the scene just right since it is so iconic.
There were songs that weren’t performed in the original movie, which were in the broadway adaption, weren’t bad. I absolutely love the song, “These Magic Changes” and I really thought it was a good fit in the movie, whereas “Freddie My Love” seemed out of place. The way they did that scene was interesting so I have a love-hate relationship with it.
The one thing that made this live production different from NBC’s was that they had a live audience. This gave the entire production a different element and made it seem like a Broadway show. The audience was able to react to what was happening on the stage and what I really enjoyed was the clapping; it seems to make the performers feel accomplished and it the performance a different feel.
Overall, the cast and crew did an amazing job at putting this production together and they did a much better job than NBC’s version. Please Carrie Underwood, if you’re reading this, don’t hate me!