Following the trend of live musicals, Fox made the bold move to adapt the highly popular musical “Grease.” The event was more of a homage to the film, while the broadcast added songs from the musical and original play. Aided by a great ensemble, elaborate sets, and overall great production value, “Grease Live” brought a game changing performance, but not without it’s faults.
Hit: The Ensemble
While the leads were pretty adequate, they were left in the dust by the performances of the supporting cast. Vanessa Hudgens had a hard time filling in the shoes of the original Rizzo, but her final solo was astounding, considering her father passed away less than a day before the show aired. Keke Palmer gave a soaring performance in her song about the troops. Kether Donahue and Carly Rae Jepson also gave wonderful supporting roles in the show.
Miss: Sandy and Danny’s big numbers
The climatic scenes that John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John had solo were some of the more memorable from the original film. With big shoes to fill, Aaron Tveit and Julianne Hough filled them just barely. When they weren’t trying to copy the original duo, they often did pretty well, but the big numbers were rather adequate and mediocre.
Hit: The big dance numbers
“Grease” made many dances such as the hand-jive very popular, and the movie did a wonderful job performing them. So much so, that the dances were even more lauded then the song numbers. Even through the rain that was happening outside, the big carnival scene went off wonderfully.
Miss: the reception
Because the show was live, something was bound to go wrong. While it wasn’t the show, the broadcast often flubbed. Big scenes such as Rizzo’s solo and the dance competition were silent or went black which was annoying as hell, considering I was really into the show.
Hit: Grease Live
The show had a lot to do in a short amount of time, and with large goal to accomplish. While the show didn’t quite beat the original film, it did change the game for live events on television. Here’s praying that a “Wicked” one is in the works.