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post #1 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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"Grease"

I did a search, and did not find a thread about this event. So, I'll start one.

First of all-I am not associated with this production in any way. I'm just a viewer.

Last night, I got to watch the first half of the live show "Grease" on Fox (I'll watch the last half tonight).

In a few words--I am AMAZED AND ASTOUNDED by this live production. This puts the live "Peter Pan" show to shame. The logistics, coordination, talent, etc. were just stunning, IMO. I feel this was a harder show to do than doing a show like the Super Bowl! The long steady-cam "walks" were spot-on. The "jib" work was great. The lighting was very well done. The audio was also well done. The wardrobe coordination (quick-change scenes) were just amazing! The cueing/coordination of back-to-back and split-screen talents just made my mouth drop open in wonder. The dance routines by all were great. The logistics/training of the hundreds of extras was mind-boggling. I'm just running out of superlatives for this production. And, consider this production was spread out over several acres and many stages-both indoors and outdoors. I read that this show was in production/rehearsal for the last two years. I truly believe it!

The only "oops" I saw, was, in the early part of the show in front of the high school when "Sandy" was trying out for the cheerleaders. When one camera was taken, it was definitely the wrong color temperature (very "cold"/blue). This was on the screen for maybe two seconds, then they cut to another camera. But, what amazed me was, they cut back to this same camera a few seconds later and it was the right color temperature--matched to the other cameras. My hat is off to the video shader for correcting this so VERY quickly.

I worked in a major market tv station for MANY years and have just recently retired. So, I think I am qualified to say that I can't impress enough to anyone what an ENORMOUS feat this show was. The hundreds of meetings/rehearsals/corrections that were done to do this show is beyond impressive. My hat is off to all at FOX and to all cast members, crew, talent for the undertaking of this show. THANK YOU TO ALL! What a magnificent job you ALL have done!! You all have earned your pay for this one!
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post #2 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 09:47 AM
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Grease LIVE

It's GREAT fun.

Nobody can do John Travolta like John Travolta, the actor that played Danny , Aaron Tveit was great and I did not think that he was trying to do John Travolta but his take on Danny. Julianne Hough is one of but a few actors that can do Sandy anything like Olivia Newton-John. She has the same magic. Rizzo is brought to life by Vanessa Hudgens, and the rest of the cast were first class. Its about 3 hours long but played faster.

Love it.
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post #3 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 10:20 AM
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I watched a little bit of it and it was pretty okay. I'm not really a "Grease" fan, although I did watch the film some as a kid and like some of the songs. I've only caught portions of these live musical broadcasts over the past few years, and this was undoubtedly the most accomplished in terms of staging, with cameras all over the place and multiple complex sets. The sound lacked a little punch, but that's to be expected when it's live. I expected Julianne Hough to drop the ball on the "Hopelessly Devoted to You" song, which is very rangy and difficult, but she did pretty well. All the singing was live, right? Where were the mics -- in their clothing? It seemed like some of it was lip synched, but it was difficult to tell.
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post #4 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 11:20 AM
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Sound quality was poor. The production looked like film even though it was live,very blurry. Dancing was first rate.
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post #5 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 11:48 AM
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I'm not a big fan of Grease or of live musicals, but my wife watches all of these things. The production in this one was an order of magnitude better than any of the recent NBC musicals. The complexity of the staging and sets was amazing. My wife commented, "NBC should just pack it in and let Fox do all of these from now on."

Unfortunately, the sound quality had a lot of issues. Audio dropped out entirely for several seconds during one song. It was very static-y during another. And throughout the show, the actors had repeated problems tapping or bumping their microphones.

The cast was pretty good. Even so, I felt through the whole show like I was watching people play-act their favorite movie. It never felt to me like any of the actors were inhabiting real characters in a real world. But as I said, I'm not a big fan of musical theater to begin with, so take that for what it's worth...

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post #6 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 12:07 PM
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I caught most of the production and thought...

  • Audio was lacking the majority of the time.
  • Danny needed a little more attitude.
  • The inside of the production spots before commercials hurt the live play aspect and made it harder to ride along.
  • Production value was first class.

Certainly not my cup of tea and I watched it live (versus commercial delayed) so it's hard to judge. However I enjoyed it for what it was and if nothing else it's nice to see "alternative" programming. Bottom line if Julianne Hough wasn't one of the leads I'm sure I wouldn't have tuned in at all.

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post #7 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 02:45 PM
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I only caught the last half or so. It was fun. The car race was extremely laughable. They couldn't even manage a tire screech at the end or something to add some excitement.


It was definitely a humongous production compared to the NBC shows. Different beasts. The Grease show was not sung live, right? Were the NBC ones? I thought they were. Maybe not. And if not, what's the point of saying that it's live?

Anyway, the finale number really showed how huge this production was. And just as I was saying that someone was going to crash one of the shuttles, the second one almost jumped the curb. The Coach aged like 10 years.
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post #8 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 04:00 PM
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Thought it was boring right out of the gate. Didn't even compare to the weakest of NBC productions (Peter Pan, The Sound of Music). A live audience AND Mario Lopez?

Check, please!
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post #9 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 04:13 PM
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The production was good but Aaron Tveit looked way too old to play Danny. Julianne Hough was good as were Carly Rae Jepson and Kiki Palmer but Vanessa Hudgens stole the show as Rizzo. Her performance was even more amazing since she got word that her dad, who was suffering from a Stage IV cancer, passed away earlier in the day. In the truest tradition of show business, Hudgens soldiered on and gave the performance of her lifetime last night.
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post #10 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 05:48 PM
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A couple of earth shaking observations.

1) During the National Bandstand scene, one of the actors slipped up and called the TV show "American Bandstand".

2) High heels were allowed on the gymnasium floor for the National Bandstand scene, but in the later number "You're the One that I Want", all the dancers were in sneakers.
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post #11 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 05:52 PM
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"Guys and Dolls" gets my vote for the next musical to appear live on broadcast TV.
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post #12 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post
"Guys and Dolls" gets my vote for the next musical to appear live on broadcast TV.
There are two more already scheduled for this year:
- Rocky Picture Horror Show on Fox on Halloween
- Hairspray on NBC in December
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post #13 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil17108 View Post
It's GREAT fun.

Nobody can do John Travolta like John Travolta, the actor that played Danny , Aaron Tveit was great and I did not think that he was trying to do John Travolta but his take on Danny. Julianne Hough is one of but a few actors that can do Sandy anything like Olivia Newton-John. She has the same magic. Rizzo is brought to life by Vanessa Hudgens, and the rest of the cast were first class. Its about 3 hours long but played faster.

Love it.
I also liked it. Of course comparing it to the original Grease it didn't hold up as well but considering it was a "live" performance I thought they did very well. Julianne was a bright star as well as Vanessa as Rizzo. I can't say I cared a lot about Aaron but following in Travolta's footsteps was basically impossible, in that respect Aaron did fine.
Overall I thought the audio was quite good, mainly listened 5.1 but tried a bit of stereo also and yes both were dead for ~10?? seconds half?? way through the show, Oops
Overall I thought FOX did a great job and look forward to more, The Rocky Horror Picture Show that should be interesting
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post #14 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
Overall I thought FOX did a great job and look forward to more, The Rocky Horror Picture Show that should be interesting
Rocky has a wild cast:
Brad Majors: Ryan McCartan (a relative newcomer)
Janet Weiss: Victoria Justice (some teenage type shows)
Dr. Frank N Furter: Laverne Cox (OITHB) a real transgender Dr. Frank
Riff Raff: Reeve Carney (Penny Dreadful)
Columbia: Annaleigh Ashford: (Masters of Sex and an established Broadway star)
Eddie: Adam Lampert
The Criminologist Narrator: Tim Curry (yes, the Tim Curry, the original Dr. Frank and still recovering from his stroke)
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post #15 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 09:23 PM
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I have seen the movie, the Broadway series stage play and now this live TV production. Neither were as good as the movie but this one was second place overall. The stage show was musically better but those performers have done the show probably hundreds of time. The sets of the live show were much better than the stage sets and gave it more of a movie experience than the stage play. My biggest disappointment was the "Beauty School Dropout" number. It was a show stopper in the play, but we really need to bring back Frankie Avalon.
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post #16 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post
"Guys and Dolls" gets my vote for the next musical to appear live on broadcast TV.
For me it is "Les Miz" if for no other reason than to get Russell Crowe's Javert out of my head.
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post #17 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 10:53 PM
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I thought the staging was fantastic, amazing they pulled it off. The sound was abysmal to say the least. Bad stereo at best DD 5.1 was non existent. When I heard the audience clapping in the front speakers I lost all hope for decent audio. Actors were good, I didn't have a problem with any of them, though Arron was a bit old for the part, but then so was Travolta in the movie.

I bet the younger audience has no idea what the title alludes to.
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post #18 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 10:58 PM
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I responded in the other thread, and agree with you on all but one point -- the audio. It was terrible. I am used toe DD 5.1, this was bad stereo. But in a production like this I can imagine the audio would be the weak link, miking it would be a nightmare. I would have been happy if the audience feed was located in the rear speakers.
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post #19 of 29 Old 02-01-2016, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal1981 View Post
Vanessa Hudgens stole the show as Rizzo. Her performance was even more amazing since she got word that her dad, who was suffering from a Stage IV cancer, passed away earlier in the day. In the truest tradition of show business, Hudgens soldiered on and gave the performance of her lifetime last night.

Actually, he died the day before.
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post #20 of 29 Old 02-02-2016, 02:15 AM
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I wanted to like it. But neither the songs nor the story moved me, and I was off watching something else in 20 minutes. I went back to see how I rated the 1978 movie on Netflix and I did rate the movie 3 stars on Netflix (on the Netflix 5-star scale, 1=hated, 3=liked, 5=LOVED), but this live performance just didn't click for me: the story didn't gel and the songs sounded a bit lackluster, at least during the period I watched.

When NBC did The Wiz Live!, I enjoyed it more than the 1978 movie, and I had hoped that experience would repeat itself.

In general, I do plan on catching future live musicals, but I don't give them an automatic pass.

My very humble setup:
Spoiler!
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post #21 of 29 Old 02-02-2016, 08:02 AM
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We have to remember we aren't the demographics for this and it did rather well...

The Sound Of Music Live! still reigns supreme through the ratings hills by its fingertips but Grease Live has got some hydromatic fuel of its own and isn’t far behind – at all. With a 4.3/13 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.18 million viewers in unadjusted preliminary ratings, last night’s Fox’s live 3-hour extravaganza is a mere 7% in the demo behind NBC’s blockbuster initial live musical offering of December 5, 2013. In total viewership, SOML! drew a massive audience of 18.62 million.

It fared best among younger viewers, garnering a 3.7 rating in both teens 12-17 and adults 18-34 — besting NBC’s recent “Wiz Live!” by 68% and 48%, respectively.

Sunday’s event out-rated NBC’s two most recent live musicals, “Wiz Live!” in December (3.4/11 in 18-49 and 11.50 million viewers overall) and “Peter Pan Live!” one year earlier (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.21 million viewers overall).

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post #22 of 29 Old 02-02-2016, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I responded in the other thread, and agree with you on all but one point -- the audio. It was terrible. I am used toe DD 5.1, this was bad stereo. But in a production like this I can imagine the audio would be the weak link, miking it would be a nightmare. I would have been happy if the audience feed was located in the rear speakers.
I wasn't able to watch the last half of the show until last night. I had two instances of lost audio during the dance in the gym scene. Each lasted for ~15 seconds. I concur with you in that audio pickup quality in a (physically) fast movement show like can be problematic. In all, I feel the audio quality for the show (less the audio dropouts) was above average.

I thought it was interesting (in the gym scene) that they had (what appeared to be) an RCA TK 30 (or more likely a TK11) camera mounted on a counterweight pedestal. At first, I thought it might be a TK 41. But, then realized it didn't quite look like a '41. I noticed it had an active viewfinder on it and a modern electric zoom lens (instead of a more traditional turret lens system). I'm guessing that they didn't go to the trouble of trying to bring back to life a camera that old. I'm assuming they "gutted" the shell of the camera and hid a modern camera inside the shell. I thought it was a nice touch to show a camera of the proper vintage ('50's) in that scene. The first camera I ever set up and used (in the '60's) was a TK 11.

http://www.eyesofageneration.com/RCA...as_TK10_30.php

http://www.tvcameramuseum.org/rca/tk11-31/tk11p1.html

I'm still in awe of the technical aspects of this show. It's hard to understand how complex it is to put on a show like this.
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post #23 of 29 Old 02-02-2016, 11:32 PM
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There are two threads, this one and the busier https://www.avsforum.com/forum/34-hdtv-programming/2314937-grease-live.html .We'll see which one survives.

Two big oopses I noticed: about fifteen seconds of audio dropout during "Born to Hand Jive," and López's flubbing the name of the show within the play (calling it "American Bandstand," the very name that "National Bandstand" was supposed to evoke without copying) the second time Vince says it.

Did not like the new song written for Jepsen.

As was mentioned in the other thread, Hudgens's father passed away Saturday, but she still did the show.  Not sure how I feel about that.  Surely she had an understudy.

Also, what is it with Sandy's last name?  Originally it was Dumbrowski (making the character Sandra D. -- note that Sandra Dee's real surname is Zuck, which "Zuko" [or in the movie, Zucco] resembles), but the movie had it as Olsson and this production as Young.

Last edited by dattier; 02-02-2016 at 11:39 PM.
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post #24 of 29 Old 02-02-2016, 11:35 PM
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Rats, lost my text.

There are two threads, this one and the not so busy https://www.avsforum.com/forum/34-hdt...13-grease.html ; we'll see which one survives.

Two big oopses I noticed: about fifteen seconds of audio dropout during "Born to Hand Jive," and López's flubbing the name of the show within the play (calling it "American Bandstand," the very name that "National Bandstand" was supposed to evoke without copying) the second time Vince says it.

Did not like the new song written for Jepsen.

Not sure how I feel about Hudgens's going on the day after her father's passing.  Surely she had an understudy.

Jjeff mentioned the "original Grease" and seemed to mean the movie, but I hope I'm wrong.  It was a local Chicago play and then, with revisions, a Broadway production before it was a feature film.

Also, what is it with Sandy's last name?  Originally it was Dumbrowski (making the character Sandra D. -- note that Sandra Dee's real surname is was Zuck, which "Zuko" [or in the movie, Zucco] resembles), but the movie had it as Olsson and this production as Young.

Last edited by dattier; 02-07-2016 at 08:09 AM. Reason: learned that Sandra Dee has passed, changed "surname is" to "surname was"
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post #25 of 29 Old 02-03-2016, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Have a look at what it was like in the Control Room during the show.

https://www.facebook.com/carrie.have...3418696832898/
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post #26 of 29 Old 02-03-2016, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dattier View Post
Also, what is it with Sandy's last name?  Originally it was Dumbrowski (making the character Sandra D.), but the movie had it as Olsson and this production as Young.
Olivia Newton-John did not look particularly Polish. Besides, an ethnic slur would not have been appropriate in a movie aimed at a mass audience. "All in the Family" could get away with it on TV in the 70's, but that's only because Michael Stivic always won the arguments.
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post #27 of 29 Old 02-04-2016, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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post #28 of 29 Old 02-04-2016, 11:16 AM
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Duplicate threads merged.
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post #29 of 29 Old 02-07-2016, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post
Olivia Newton-John did not look particularly Polish.
What does a Pole look like?  Also, Sandy might well be Polish only on her father's side, or only on her paternal grandfather's side.

But suppose the actress playing Sandy can't pass for even one-quarter Polish; surely there is a surname for her that starts with D and doesn't conflict with presumptions based on her appearance.
Quote:
Besides, an ethnic slur would not have been appropriate in a movie aimed at a mass audience.
What ethnic slur?  OK, I've never seen the Broadway version, but the libretto of the original Chicago production, the movie, and the live Fox network show all were without slurs, or need for them, against Sandy's ethnic group.

FWIW, according to Wikipedia, Sandy's surname was Dumbrowski in the Broadway production.

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