Hello everyone! Welcome to BirthMay 2020! Today I wanted to share my thoughts on Grease the Musical!
I have loved Grease since it was my freshman year marching band show. It’s such a fun story with great music and I really enjoy it a ton. So when I saw a local theatre was going to perform Grease I knew I had to go! I saw it back in February (right before quarantine started) at the Lincolnshire Marriott Theatre, which is always a great location. The theatre is quite intimate as it’s smaller and the stage is in the middle of the room, so the audience sits around the stage. Sometimes the audience gets to interact with the cast, as Grease did at the start of the musical. When the first couple characters came out for the first scene they walked out and acted like it was a pep rally almost, so the choir students walked down one aisle and waved and interacted with the people sitting along that aisle as if they were their friends they hadn’t seen all summer. Down the other aisle, where I was, the teachers came out and one of them even gave my mom a hug and was like “it’s so GOOD to see you again!” and it was just really funny because my mom was soooo confused! I loved it. Also, when we’d left the house my dad had literally told me to keep an eye out in case anyone hit on my mom because he said she looked beautiful for her night at the theatre with me. So shhhh no one tell him that I failed at the one job I was given LOL.
Since winters can be pretty unpredictable in Northern Illinois, I actually bought the tickets about three hours before the performance. It’s a pretty popular show, and so I had noticed that the next performance (Friday evening) had a lot of seats open while the four performances over the weekend were almost sold out. So I decided I would call the box office to get tickets and pick them up when I got there. I had noticed that the only seats were in the back row pretty much, so I thought it was weird that when I called I got front row but I wasn’t going to complain! I ended up in section 4, which I don’t think I’ve actually sat in before as I normally end up in section 2. I love being in the aisle though, so I was really happy with the seats!
Also! I am so glad I saw it when I did, because I originally was going to wait for the next weekend’s round of performances. Well, it ended up closing early because of the quarantine so I wouldn’t have been able to see it at all! Phew!
In case you’re new, BirthMay is my annual birthday celebration where I blog every day for the month of May. This is the fourth annual BirthMay and no matter how many BirthMays you’ve been here for, thank you for your support!
In case anyone hasn’t seen Grease in either musical or movie form, the story follows a bunch of teenagers in the late ’50s attending high school. The two main characters are new girl and goody two shoes Sandy and her love interest, the “bad boy” Danny. The students go through a variety of typical high school experiences, dealing with school, parties, dances, and so on. I don’t want to spoil too many plot points there so if you haven’t seen the movie or musical, please do!
The musical has a lot more characters and songs than the movie does, and there are quite a few differences between the two for certain scenes or order of them. For example, the party celebrating Frenchy’s acceptance into beauty school was held at a park, not at the restaurant (I believe the movie has it at the restaurant) and Rizzo ends up singing “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” at that party instead of during the sleep over scene where the main song is actually “Freddy, My Love” by Marty. Additionally, there are characters Jan and Roger, who I don’t believe are in the movie at all, or if they are they aren’t prominent while in the musical they do play a big role and even get their own song, “Mooning”. I loved seeing those other character interactions, as it just makes it so much more different than the movie.
Now, I have talked about some of the differences but overall the musical is still similar enough that the entire thing still feels very familiar. Of course, the main songs like “Summer Nights”, “Greased Lightnin'”, and “Beauty School Dropout”, among others, are all as iconic as always. “Summer Nights” was especially fun as it was the first big song the characters did and the Thunderbird guys were in the corner where my seat was. Def was not checking out their butts at all, nope not me. The dialogue was also similar, such as Sandy getting her ear (yes singular) pierced or even the drive-in movie interaction between Danny and Sandy. So even if the scene wasn’t exactly like the movie, it was still very similar and as charming as ever.
The entire cast was super talented! I actually hadn’t seen a lot of those actors before, which was different from other shows at that theatre where I often see multiple actors that have been in other shows I’ve seen there. However, everyone was amazing and had appeared in other great shows in other regional or Chicago theatres, and a few from Broadway as well. Honestly, the entire show was amazing and I loved that they even had a little motorized car for Greased Lightnin’ that went up and down the ramps to the stage.
Overall, if you get the chance to see Grease on stage, I recommend you check it out! Especially if you’re a fan of the movie, as it’s just adds a whole new dimension to the story. It’s a super fun story and a great time!
Let me know if you’ve seen Grease on stage or plan to. Are you a big Grease fan too?
Thanks for reading!
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