Hopelessly Devoted To ‘Grease: Live!’
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Hopelessly Devoted To ‘Grease: Live!’

'Grease: Live!' is the word.

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Hopelessly Devoted To ‘Grease: Live!’
ew.com

Fox's “Grease: Live!” aired on January 31 and generated a total of 12.2 million viewers. While it is hard to live up to the original movie, and many TV critics gave negative reviews, the three-hour television event was entertaining, fun and alive.

Lead actors, Aaron Tveit as Danny Zuko, Julianne Hough as Sandy Olsson and Vanessa Hudgens as Betty Rizzo performed incredibly. Their singing, dancing and acting abilities brought these characters to life.

As we watched, some technical difficulties arose during the live production, and many critics keep that in mind. They noted Julianne Hough’s mic cutting out during, “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” but we have to keep in mind that is the risk of a live production. That is what theatre is.

In theatre, every performance is going to be different, and there will always be mistakes. These events or mistakes that come up by surprise help us to see how strong certain actors are.

The show reminded us that no matter what obstacles come along, “the show must go on.” “Grease: Live!” was different than the original movie, but there were still a lot of positive modern changes and strong performances.


1. Diversity in casting


It was nice to see lead and ensemble characters played by people of different diversities. It presented a more modern vibe and also expanded the talent.

2. Live audience

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"Grease: Live!" included a live audience in scenes such as the cheer-leading tryout and pep rally. It reminded us that it is a live and staged performance and it is not a movie. However, I am curious as to how the live audience became involved and I wish I was there.

3. Aaron Tveit

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F02%2F03%2F635900595251941840858296440_tumblr_o1v5c9jLrV1suegveo1_250.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=1011&h=d21f925c3fe6dc2ce69c77490bb9d3fc76113865af0d4d248c7032ef34f0bc03&size=980x&c=1677732206 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F02%252F03%252F635900595251941840858296440_tumblr_o1v5c9jLrV1suegveo1_250.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D1011%26h%3Dd21f925c3fe6dc2ce69c77490bb9d3fc76113865af0d4d248c7032ef34f0bc03%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1677732206%22%7D" expand=1]

According to Variety, Tveit’s performance was “bland." I thought it was amazing. Tveit has such a strong, trained and talented voice, and I believe it sounded better than John Travolta in the original movie. Also, Tveit is a heartthrob and fits the role of Danny Zuko very well.

4. Vanessa Hudgens

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F02%2F03%2F635900598684338949957409468_tumblr_o1vzfnXc7i1tswot7o1_400.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=785&h=d5d8d1da00163b1944211383bbe9b1cc71965ed5f34406694947946974ba4b65&size=980x&c=1895223550 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F02%252F03%252F635900598684338949957409468_tumblr_o1vzfnXc7i1tswot7o1_400.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D785%26h%3Dd5d8d1da00163b1944211383bbe9b1cc71965ed5f34406694947946974ba4b65%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1895223550%22%7D" expand=1]

At first I was skeptical about Hudgens cast as Rizzo after watching her performance as Mimi Marquez in "Rent" for the Hollywood Bowl. However, I thought she did a phenomenal job. Her acting, dancing and singing were impressive and it will be the last time I underestimate her talent.

Her strength to perform after her father passed away from cancer just hours before the show also displays how much talent and persistence she possesses.

5. Julianne Hough

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F02%2F03%2F635900600801049152-1178924845_tumblr_o1wgn6Uka71til7gfo2_400.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=318&h=bd14456254b47b75a506354ea81035375aac75c316408b539c3045b45aeae6ba&size=980x&c=173293978 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F02%252F03%252F635900600801049152-1178924845_tumblr_o1wgn6Uka71til7gfo2_400.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D318%26h%3Dbd14456254b47b75a506354ea81035375aac75c316408b539c3045b45aeae6ba%26size%3D980x%26c%3D173293978%22%7D" expand=1]

Hough is a true triple threat. It was great getting to see her perform in more than just a dancing role.

6. No one commented on Jan’s weight

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F02%2F03%2F635900602417051430-415767758_9cd4e6eade689356006b62452f397f99c4f548b7.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=244&h=9271c861a0c60a9c937784109cac1938e8c31942f7ef9a7f234a4c912aed2771&size=980x&c=418187794 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F02%252F03%252F635900602417051430-415767758_9cd4e6eade689356006b62452f397f99c4f548b7.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D244%26h%3D9271c861a0c60a9c937784109cac1938e8c31942f7ef9a7f234a4c912aed2771%26size%3D980x%26c%3D418187794%22%7D" expand=1]

This was an important modern change. While they still say Jan is weird, it is much better than the original movie when they call her fat. Fox did a good job of knowing the pressures the media brings on body image, and it is valuable that they changed that.

7. The finale

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F02%2F03%2F635900605355578068-24504669_Grease-Live-finale.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=395&h=cbda5c54f60bdab00b71c89b35c5dbbd1518b52729f189ffc238a8b0f61c5506&size=980x&c=174791388 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F02%252F03%252F635900605355578068-24504669_Grease-Live-finale.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D395%26h%3Dcbda5c54f60bdab00b71c89b35c5dbbd1518b52729f189ffc238a8b0f61c5506%26size%3D980x%26c%3D174791388%22%7D" expand=1]

While there was no flying car, "We Go Together" as the finale was a great way to end the three-hour event. They ended outside at the carnival, which looked magical and amazing.

8. The unity of the cast and getting to see how close they became


My favorite part about theatre is how close casts become during a production. It was nice to see a production as big as this one and with so much famous talent become a close knit group by the end. Getting to see their set and backstage before the show as Jessie J sang, “Grease Is the Word” was a unique and fun way to start the entertaining musical event.

There were some technical glitches and things may not have been perfect, but that is theatre. I loved “Grease: Live!” and I can’t wait to watch Fox’s next live musical, "The Passion."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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