Last year I was watching The Ellen Show and she told her receptionist Jeannie that she was going to be in the upcoming live stage show of Grease and it was news to me that Fox was even doing a live production. I saw the live stage performance of The Sound of Music and then The Wiz on NBC, and then the live stage performance of The Rocky Horror Show on BBC America. I just assumed this was going to be on a stage as well, but it was more than a stage, they used an entire lot for this.
Let me take you back in time to 1978 when Grease first hit theaters. According to IMDb it was June 16, 1978. My mother and her friend, who I named Bubbles in my book would bring all of us kids (my sister, Bubbles’ son and myself) to the Drive-In in a pick up truck and we would watch it 3 times in a row. I remember one night we stayed until the next movie came on and no one was paying attention, and it wasn’t Grease, I don’t recall the name of the movie, but I saw a boobie and my mother freaked out and she was like OK guys lets go!
Some days my mother would drop my sister and I off at the walk in theater and we would literally watch it over and over like 4 times in a row. My sister kept a watch and we were supposed to leave at a certain time to be picked up. I honestly don’t remember why she did that. I remember that back then my parents managed an apartment building in Van Nuys, but for some reason I had assumed she dropped us off at the movies because she was going to work. I remember my step father occasionally worked as a trucker when we lived there, especially after my baby sister was born. My mother used to be a RN, but I don’t recall her working as a nurse in this time period.
When I was 19 and working as a telemarketer for the “Child Abuse Prevention Society”, they fired me (because I told my mother that my boss beat up my motel roommate who was my manager and punched me in the head and she told her friend who knew my bosses boss, and told him about it, so they fired me) and gathered all of my belongings from our motel room just days after we moved to Los Angeles. I was homeless, so I called my mom and told her, she called my step father who worked in Los Angeles at the time and he came and got me and my belongings and drove me to Canoga Park to live with my sister. She had a VCR and Grease on VHS, and I would watch it, then rewind it, then watch it, rewind, over and over.
I would estimate that the amount of times I saw Grease as a child, and then on VHS as a 19 year old, that I must’ve seen that movie at least 400 to 500 times. So that brings me to Grease Live (finally).
When I was browsing the guide on Sunday, I wasn’t expecting Grease Live to be on, so I was half an hour late watching it, but I used the Start Over feature with our cable and got to watch it from the beginning.
I don’t want to blame it on my antibiotics, but I was overly emotional watching. Every time they began singing, and keep in mind, I know ALL the words, I tried to sing, but I would get so choked up that I couldn’t sing along at all. I would get the first 2 words out, then start crying. It wasn’t just the first song, it was EVERY song in the live performance.
I spoke about the NBC and BBC America live stage performance and that Grease used an entire movie lot to film this, and I thought that was the most brilliant idea. The live audience that you could actually see was also a brilliant idea. I saw Samuel Marcus Egber from The People’s Couch in the audience during the cheerleader audition and thought how awesome it was that he was there.
Anyway, I just had to blog about this because it meant something to me to see this played out again with a whole new cast and they cleaned it up a bit. I loved their choices for every cast member. Juliana Hough couldn’t have made a better Sandy if she tried. I mean, it was like she really was Sandy. This show really was perfect.
I wonder which live performance is next. Hairspray? If so, I look forward that seeing it.