Grease: Live is the word!

What up Lallster world! I’m back and need to write about something near and dear to my heart.

Today’s blog is dedicated to a movie well-t.v. movie/musical that did perfect justice to a play that was first brought to the stage in 1971 and still remains one of the most beloved plays/musical’s there is. I mean come on! How could you not love leather jacket wearing men who emulated the James Dean cool, and beautiful women who represented every girl you went to high-school with all in one clique. The T-Birds and Pink Ladies set the mold for cool, and fun.

I have always loved Grease. I mean sure I may have been too young to watch the 1978 version of it with my mom in the 90’s but hey my mom was and still is cool, thanks to her and Grease I fell in love with musicals. And what girl didn’t have a crush on Danny Zuko or want to be Rizzo or Sandy (whether it was proper Sandy or leather pants Sandy). So it should come as no surprise that on January 31st when I was laying on the couch sick and flipping through channels while my mom visited I came to FOX and Grease: Live had just started, that I instantly felt better.

There are so many amazing moments of Grease: Live. How could there not be! The music, direction by Thomas Kail, flow, singing, (oh the powerful lungs on all of the cast), even the rain added it’s own character.

Before I start with my top 5 moments, I want to acknowledge Vanessa Hudgens and her great courage and strength; my thoughts are with her and her family.

Here are my top 5 moments of Grease: Live!

5) Patty Simcox and Eugene Felsnick

Portrayed by Elle McLemore and Noah Robbins these two would have to be my favorite characters in this 2016 reboot. If you remember the play and 1971 movie Eugene, is bullied by the T-Birds and as high school kids would do, it happens. Misunderstanding the smartest person in the room is part of life. I loved that in this version they made Eugene kind of bad-ass, I mean how could seeing “If you want to win” delivered with such swag not be bad-ass. And let’s not forget the fact that they made him a T-Bird. This brought a huge smile to my face. Now ladies, can we talk about the message Patty Simcox sent to millions of young girls in her one line of “What’s alone?” while Eugene with all his game asked if she was going to the dance. This line although minor, to me meant: Finally! a character that says everything I have been saying since I was a dateless teenager at every school dance I went to. That I am not alone! That with confidence, a head full of brains, and great friends I was never alone. Sure like Patty Simcox I did not slow dance with a classic slow jam but yo, my hand jive was on point. And let’s not forget Elle McLemore’s caffinated, hyper, almost scary jittery energy she brought to the character. It was amazing.

4) The Cast

Led by the beautiful Julianne Hough and every girls new crush/future baby daddy Aaron Tveit; this cast was amazing. I couldn’t be more proud of these individuals. It’s like being a mom watching her babies shine with great light and happiness. (Although we are all of the same generation). Vanessa Hudgens, Carlos PenaVega, Canadian home girl Carly Rae Jepsen, Keke Palmer, Kether Donohue, David Del Rio, Jordan Fisher, Andrew Call, Ana Gasteyer, Haneefah Wood, and the countless others, who sang their hearts out, and made every song from this movie sound and look better than they ever have before. Choosing my favorite performance was annoyingly difficult! Julianne Hough was the perfect sweet for Utah Sandy and the “damn girl!” the Rydell High graduated Sandy, Keke Palmer brought the sass that I would like to think I myself exude (minus my love Freddy), Carlos PenaVega was the perfect tough guy who just wants his girl and his ride, Jordan Fisher brought an unbelievable confidence to Doody, Aaron Tveit gave Danny Zuko biceps and a charm that made every women young and old think, “this man can do whatever he wants and I’ll forgive him”, and let’s not forget Haneefah Wood as Blanche! I may even go as her for halloween; her comedic timing was perfect! And of course she would loose her bra at a high school dance. However the most memorable and favorite performance would have to be Rizzo portrayed by the gorgeous and strong Vanessa Hudgens. To see Vanessa switch up her roles 10 years later to be the street smart, tough, at the end of the day just a girl who wants to be loved by a good man woman- was amazing. She made this role her own. She was absolutely brilliant and a perfect choice for this role.

3) The Men Of My 90’s Slow Jam Playlist.

I had no idea Boyz II Men were going to play teen angel; and their harmony could not be more on point then it was on the 31st. When I saw Boyz II Men my smile went from my face won’t break from smiling to oh God I need an ice pack for my face. I loved these men and still do. They brought charisma, and humor to the role. You better believe that I listened to “I’ll make love to you” every night after; followed by every 90’s slow jam that kids today will never appreciate the same.

2) The Costume Design

Can we give a hoot and holler, followed by a loud round of applause to William Levy Long. You sir, have out done yourself. Of course this tony award winning designer would bring his “A” game. From Marty’s changing outfit in “Freddy my love” to the Frenchy’s re-created pineapple dress. I loved all of the costumes. It made me re-think my whole work attire, I wonder what my bosses would say if I wore poodle skirts and pink cardigan’s to work. I must admit that from now on when I do wear my leather pants it must be complimented by a soft black leather jacket. I was happy to see the tower of curlers on the girls head’s during “Beauty School Dropout” and Danny’s short short’s during “Those Magic Changes”. Thank you Mr. Long for the refreshing take on those 50’s inspired costumes.

1) Those Magic Changes

Hearing them bring “Those Magic Changes” live and incorporating into the show once again made the production feel complete. Performed by Jordan Fisher and later joined by Aaron Tveit, this song fit perfectly into this production representing the need to and the surprise change you see in yourself when you are in love. Waiting with desire, and the hopefulness to see and hold your honey again. Jordan Fisher’s voice is smooth like butter with a hint of “come here and let me show you how much I missed you” and when you pair that with Aaron Tveit’s powerful and “oh my, I love it, keep going” vocals, you get a song that falls right inline with songs such as “I Only Have Eyes For You” (The Flamingos) and “If I Knew” (Bruno Mars); The epitome of let me hold you close and the earth stops moving because I have you in my arms.

There you have it! My top five moments of Grease:Live. Believe me when I say coming up with five moments was a difficult process! You had everything I long time Greaser like myself could ever want. Didi Conn, Barry Pearl, the Rydell carnival, thunder row, Jessie J singing “Grease Is The Word”, the quick changes between sets and costumes, the amazing choreography that puts my zumba choreography to utter shame, and the fact that this production made me so happy, and I got over my cold real quick. What were your highlights of Grease:Live?


About the Author: Halima

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