Following in the footsteps of ITV’s live production of The Sound of Music, ITV2 showed Grease Live on Wednesday 3rd February. The UK did not broadcast the spectacle, live – however four days previously, Grease was live on television the USA. So, the vibrant cast of multi-talented performers took on quite a feat.
With technical splendour, we were treated to a hybrid of the stage musical version and the popular movie, which starred Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. Jessie J opened the show in style, putting her own stamp on Grease is the Word, and the adrenaline exuding from behind the scenes as the singing sensation strutted her way around the set was infectious. This energy carried the show as the fun-packed and cleverly filmed piece progressed.
Julianne Hough was the epitome of Olivia Newton-John, the perfect Sandy and her dance ability was matched by that of Aaron Tveit as Danny. Together with the other T Birds and the Pink Ladies, the ensemble mostly brought something of the original characters that we know and love, combined with their own interpretations. Carly Rae Jepson was a slight disappointment as Frenchie, not quite quirky enough in my opinion. However, Vanessa Hudgens stole the show as Rizzo, a ringer for Stockard Channing and There are Worse Things I Could Do was a real highlight.
Didi Conn (the original Frenchie from the movie) was cast as Vi in the diner and it was a joy to see the legend joining this event. She’s still got an engaging presence, her appearance made Grease Live for me.
This concept is a refreshing change for television, long may these ideas continue!