Thursday, February 4, 2016

What's Next On My List? Grease: Live

I remember about a month ago I came across the photo shoot of this project and my jaw dropped. I had no idea this was in plan, and maybe it is better. I am one of those people who is not into remakes very much and well, a simply Grease remake would've made me insane. Why? Because if they want to force it down my throat again then give it something extra (I'm still not OK with the Dirty Dancing remake...). And well, making a televised version of the musical? Now that is indeed something extra. I waited anxiously to see it and wow...

I'll summarize the story, although I doubt I can find anyone out there who doesn't know it yet. Danny and Sandy have a summer romance, but they are very much different in high school, than in private. Fallen trap to the roles they play at school, Danny tries to win Sandy back by having to show his real sweet side, while at the same time Sandy wishes to change for him. It is senior year at Rydell High and their group of friends all feel that an era is coming to an end, but they won't give up on being friends just because school is over.

As I said before, I didn't know this was happening and well, it's a good thing for a simple reason: the cast. I realized that when they make remakes and I have to assist actor by actor to see who will play my favorite characters I just go insane. It is usually never the people I would like to. Here, instead, I just saw the poster and was immediately taken back into the magical world that is Grease. And well I knew that I would never enjoy a simply remake, and at the same time I would never get to see the Broadway show live, and well, this might be the closest I came to it and I was not disappointed!
That said, I know this movie by heart. And my favorite couple are not the main characters, but Rizzo and Kenickie and well the bar was really high for me. And I was blown away by Hudgens' performance. This version actually gave a bit more attention to her feelings and relationship with Kenickie and although for some she wasn't the best character, however, to me her struggle is real... much real than the love between two people who care too much about their appearance than the one they are in love with... I'm sorry, yes, I went there. The whole story is really about kids trying very hard to adhere to the status quo instead of being their true self. And it is a fine story, it made a classic and people keep watching and re-watching it. But for this very reason I never really cared about Danny and Sandy. But that changed too.
Hough and Tveit simply took me on a journey with them. I fell in love with the songs again. I felt that Danny actually wanted to change, not just behind his friends' back or just to appear cute and nice in front of Sandy again. Although, in so many years I still don't understand the lyrics "Sandy my darling, you hurt me real bad, you know it's true" ... like what was he referring to? Danny was rude once, then again, then he let Sandy leave and just danced with Cha-cha and I never really got why he wanted to 'force' himself onto her in the car, I mean... it was just weird. And then she hurt him? With what exactly? There is an extra line here, when we find out that Sandy lied to her parents to be with him, and lied to him as well in a way. So I guess it kinda makes sense, but not really. It's just weird to me. Perhaps she hit the car door harder than I thought... Still, I think that she changing for him in the end was major and Danny did try to change, he got into sports and so on, but people never remember that... they only remember the leather pants Sandy wore... and I can't blame them!
My last criticism is a simple change in the story that I don't get honestly, and that was the Thunder road race. In the movie Kenickie gets and accident by mistake, while here Danny does it to him on purpose. I didn't see that point of that, to be honest. I liked that Danny had to be the hero to win the race by chance. He was the main character, but it wasn't his beef that got them there, but the one between Kenickie and the head of the Scorpions, but there is something satisfying about seeing him win. Here, well... I just found it a bit forced, but maybe for the ones who converted the movie into the musical this seemed more logical. Perhaps this is just me nit-picking.

That said, the musical itself was magnificent. The dances brought to life simple songs that were - before - just part of a movie soundtrack to me. A lot of these songs simply got a new meaning and became favorites again. I adored Tveit's Danny and Hough's Sandy, and as I said before Hudgens' hit it out of the park, and she was incredibly cute with PenaVega's Kenickie. Among the rest of the cast, well, I was very happy to see Ana Gasteyer, she's simply awesome! And our original Frenchy, Didi Conn and Doody, Barry Pearl appear as other iconic characters and in the end put on their original costumes from the movie just made my heart skip a beat! And one person in particular blew me away: Mario Lopez. This guy is a born performer I tell you! And it just makes me extra sad that he isn't acting more... instead of being a talk show host. And, in the end, hats off to directors Thomas Kail and Alex Rudnizsky! These guys know what they are doing!

So watch it? Yes! Why haven't you yet? Grease is the word, for crying out loud! Off you pop and let me know what you thought in the comments!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Danny - Aaron Tveit
Kenickie - Carlos PenaVega
Marty - Keke Palmer
Doody - Jordan Fisher
Putzie - David Del Rio
Sonny - Andrew Call
Mrs. Murdock - Eve Plumb
Principal McGee - Ana Gasteyer
Coach Calhoun - Wendell Pierce
Vince Fontaine - Mario Lopez

No comments:

Post a Comment