Grease Live: Fox Has Changed the Game

Last night fox debuted its contribution to the live musical craze with Grease: Live and it did nto disappoint, in fact, I think it upped the whole game.

Aside from some of the singing performances being a tad less stellar than the '78 movie, and a few moments of dead air, and som emore lost sound, Grease Live delivered but too it to another level.

Quick thoughts on casting.

Julianne Hough was perfectly cast as Sandy. She had the look, dance moves and the singing chops. Aaron Tveit had a different look than the dark-haired Travolta, but held his own vocally. I found Ke Ke Palmer's performance a tad it over the top, but I did like her Freddy My Love number. Jordan Fisher as Doody was fab with his number. Vanessa Hudgens did a fine Rizzo and considering that her father died just the night before, she did an awesome job with the fiesty role. I wasn't quite into Carly Rae Jepson's Frenchie but the rest of the cast was solid. The ensemble group was awesome.

Now the highlights:

Strong Introduction featuring Jessie J -Where the movie started with an animation of the main characters, this was a sneak peek of the fantastic sets, as well as some behind-the-scenes shots of the characters as the cameras masterfully followed singer Jessie J through some of the indoor and then outdoor sets, to a live, cheering audience. It definitely pulls your attention in and lets you know this will be a fun production.

The 3-D sets - Where NBC's The Wiz Live and The Sound of Music Live were kept on one stage, for Grease Live, they took is completely 3 dimensional, with the cameras weaving in and out of sets that transitioned into larger, bigger and totally different sets both indoor and outdoor. You were completely brought into the Grease world and at every possible angle.

Excellent Camera Work - For a totally live production, the bobbing and weaving of the cameras, capturing the many different angles and transitions to different sets was just on point. The transitions alone were well done. Special note on Marty's song Freddy My Love and how they transitioned from Frenchie's teenaged bedroom to the big stage, with a vibrant audience.

The General Energy - Unlike previous live performances, this one seemed to be done in front of an actual cheering audience and that added so much more energy. It gave you a theater experience but with more gusto.

Strong Production Values - Very good. I was impressed with the car race scene and how they handled that creatively.

The Throwbacks - It was cool to see Eve Plumb (Jan from The Brady Bunch) as Ms Murdock, Boyz II Men as Teen Angel, who sounded fantastic by the way, and of course the cameos by Didi Conn (the movie Frenchie) and Barry Pearl (the movie's Doody).

The Racial Diversity - As a woman of color myself, its always wonderful to see a cast updated to include some people that look like me. It was a welcomed sight.

The Fantastic Ending - I was a huge fan of NBC's The Wiz Live but was a bit disappointed when it ended with a quiet cut with no bow or anything. This ending had me blown away. First because it broke that hidden 4th wall and showed the cast get into studio carts and drive to the last scene together but then they arrive to the final carnival scene, with an actual carnival set up. Even better was the final bows from the entire cast. They got my applause!!

NBC may have created the game of bringing musicals live to television but Fox certainly shined tonight in an overall spectacular production!

What did you think?

Lady Dulayne

Music junkie, Baltimore chick, Jedi mom, karaoke queen,'80s kid, hair and makeup fanatic, currently keeping up with a daily Greek yogurt habit.

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