Paramount Home Media Distribution
By Johna Autencio
If there’s one thing that you could want, it’s to buy Grease: Live! on DVD, which is available in stores now.
Featuring six special feature segments from the cast and crew, viewers see how big of a job it really was behind the scenes to be slowly pieced together Grease: Live!. From choreography to set design and costume design, camera work and, of course, the actors transforming into their characters, it takes a whole team of people to really set everything in place. Also included are interviews with the cast on their favourite Grease moment from the film.
Starring Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages), Aaron Tveit (Les Miserables) and Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), this new and improved remake of the classic 1978 version that starred Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, has all the fun and excitement that combines live theater and a film made for television. Although remakes are typically hit or miss, Grease: Live! had its defining moments that not only brought old fans of the original film to watch the live production from home, but brought a whole new generation of fans to enjoy it too.
Especially those who are big fans of the original, one cannot help but compare the show scene by scene while watching the live production; however, it remained very true to the film while also managing to make its own version. With extra dance sequences that made the show more lively, and song numbers that gave the supporting cast a solo for their five minutes of fame – Keke Palmer as fierce and sassy “Pink Lady” Marty and Jordan Fisher as the loveable “T-Bird” Doody, both nailed their performances.
Unfortunately, Carly Rae Jepsen‘s solo as beauty school dropout, Frenchy, was not as strong as the others. In fact, her extra solo was practically a cry for help – her voice was shaky, she wasn’t as strong of a performer and she overall didn’t have the bubbly personality that Didi Conn had when she played Frenchy in the original film. Some may even wonder how she managed to get this role when she should’ve just dropped out of this production because she just can’t act.
Needless to say the true stars of the show was definitely its starring trio. Julianne Hough had the innocent personality, the dance moves, and the voice of Sandy. Although she was pitchy during her “Hopelessly Devoted To You” solo, she managed to pull through. Aaron Tveit had to have been one of the better actors on this production. Already having a Broadway background, he already knew what he was getting into and he nailed it. His rendition of Danny Zuko was charming, funny and impressive, especially during his “Grease Lightning” performance. If audiences didn’t know who he was before, they’re definitely paying attention now.
But all eyes were on Vanessa Hudgens as rough-edged “Pink Lady” Rizzo. Just a couple of hours ahead of the show, she announced that her father had passed away the night before and that she would dedicate her performance to him. She showed audiences worldwide how brave she was and that the “show must go on,” even under such heartbreaking circumstances.
The overall production was a knockout success. It was interesting to see a new generation of actors go back to the 1950’s and put a modernized spin to the story without ruining the entirety of the original. It was a rather lovely homage to how big of a musical film this really was for generation after generation because, in the end, Grease: Live! is electrifying!