Amber Mackie: Hey Iesha!
So, as you already know, Grease: Live premiered on FOX last night (January 31) and I’m a musical theatre fanatic, so I had to tune in . Since both of us enjoyed The Wiz Live so much, I figured it was only right to talk about the greatness that transpired last night, or at least I thought it was “greatness.”
But before I start babbling, what were your thoughts?
Iesha Daniels: Hey Amber!
I’m glad we can agree on our obsessions with musical theatre! I enjoyed Grease: Live but don’t know if I witnessed “greatness” and here’s why:
Jessie J opened up the show with my jam, “Grease,” but not sure how I felt about the back stage singing/walking around. It was too many moving parts to focus on. The background-behind the scenes was a bit chaotic and distracting.
I wasn’t feeling the cinematography and panning of the camera in certain scenes. The production screamed “High School Musical” and less “Grease.”
Although I do believe the show had a some great moments:
I really enjoyed Vanessa Hudgens and Julianne Hough—they did a fantastic job with the vocal performance and choreography for their characters! Boyz II Men were also a nice treat, they harmonize like no other and “Beauty School Dropout” was the perfect song. I see why they’re not known for dancing, though. LOL!
I love the incorporation of diversity with Keke Palmer, Jordan Fisher and other cast members—way to make it relevant in 2016!
Overall, I loved the vocals from everyone, the costumes were great and the choreography was amazing. There were a few good scenes such as the car race, “Grease Lightning” performance and the National Bandstand scene, but the show was so busy and didn’t keep my full attention like The Wiz live.
Let me know if you agree or disagree!
Amber: GIRL!!! I’m going to have to agree to disagree with you on some of your thoughts, and here’s why…
This was a LIVE show! So, the panning and the cinematography was the best part! Being that this was a televised theatric production I think the producers, director(s) and crew did an amazing job. Everything from the blocking, to the multiple sets, the shots, the directing, the choreography and the quick changes were all on point. The production value alone was A1 and everything I just mentioned made me appreciate Grease: Live as a whole, so much more, especially as a performer/dancer.
Now everything wasn’t perfect, but nothing ever is. There were some technical glitches here and there. At one point I remember the audio even going out, but again that’s all part of a live production…Shit happens. But let's talk about the great moments you mentioned.
TOTALLY loved that Jessie J opened up with “Grease is the worrrrrrd.” And I also loved the singing/walking around element. As a viewer who was watching this on television, it made me feel like I was there.
Vanessa and Julianne went all the way off! Sadly, Vanessa Hudgens' father passed hours before the production. Not only did Vanessa blow the house down, especially during her performance of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do,” but she was the perfect example of strength and grace under pressure. I’ve been a fan of her voice since her High School Musical days, so I was very proud to see her shine as Rizzo.
And Julianne Hough, between her dancing and her voice, she was giving me everlasting life. I will admit I was rewinding “Hopelessly Devoted to You” about four times after she performed that song, (thank God for DVR), definitely one of my favorites.
And yaaaaaaaassss for Boyz II Men!!! I had no idea they were even going to be a part of this production. So when they first appeared in the opening I think I lost my mind, just a little bit. I also completely loved their harmonized, smooth version of "Beauty School Dropout.” Their voices are and always will be timeless and amazing.
I also enjoyed the diversity with Keke Palmer and Jordan Fisher. I was low-key crushing on Jordan, and he definitely surprised me with that voice.
However, I have mixed feelings on Keke. While, KeKe did sound good when she performed her solo, I wasn't impressed by her acting. Her fake snooty, sophisticated act wasn't that great to me. The voice she used while portraying Marty was kind of annoying. But the fact that she was even a part of this production and broke barriers being a young African-American woman playing Marty, in Grease, was appreciated.
I LOVED how the producers pulled off the car racing scene. Great, great, great production on their end.
“Grease Lightning” was my favorite scene AFTER “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” LOL! The lighting and choreo was amazing!
Oh, and lastly, shoutouts to Didi Conn AKA the original Frenchy, who graced my television screen last night. She played the waitress who gave Frenchy, this time played by Carly Rae Jepsen, advice on her beauty school dreams.
All in all, I absolutely loved it and I think I made my case as to why.
Iesha: I can’t argue with any of that! It’s safe to say that we agree to disagree as far as production goes, but I think the cast did a great job.
Amber: Agreed! :)