Wednesday, January 31, 2007

History of Grease the Musical:

Grease - by Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey

Based on the High school subcultures of 1950s America, it takes its name from the "tough guy" working-class greasers of the era. The musical, set in fictional Rydell High in Chicago, tackles such social issues as teenage pregnancy and gang violence; its themes include love, friendship, rebellion and sexual exploration during adolescence, and, to some degree, class consciousness/class conflict.

The show premiered as a straight play in 1971 at the Kingston Mines Theater in the Old Town section of Chicago. Producers Ken Waissman and Maxine Fox saw it and suggested to the playwrights that it might work better as a musical, and told them if they were willing to rework it and they liked the end result, they would produce it off-Broadway. The team headed to New York City to collaborate on what would become Grease, which opened at the Eden Theatre in downtown Manhattan on February 14, 1972. Excellent reviews and brisk box-office business prompted the producers to move it uptown.

The Broadway production, directed by Tom Moore and choreographed by Patricia Birch, opened on June 7, 1972 at the Broadhurst Theatre, where it ran for five months before transferring to the Royale. It remained there for more than seven years before moving to the Majestic, where it closed on April 13, 1980, having racked up a total of 3388 performances.

The original cast included Adrienne Barbeau, Barry Bostwick, Carole Demas, Timothy Meyers, and Walter Bobbie.

The show went on to become a West End hit, a hugely successful film, a popular 1994 Broadway revival, and a staple of regional theatre, summer stock, community theatre, and high school drama groups. In 2003, Grease was voted Best Musical of All Time in a BBC Channel 4 poll. A new Broadway production, directed by Kathleen Marshall, is scheduled for June 2007 and is being cast via NBC's new show "Grease: You're The One That I Want". Also, the songs from the 1978 movie that were not featured in the original musical will be featured in the 2007 revival.

Song list

Act I
* Alma Mater
* Alma Mater Parody
* Summer Nights
* Those Magic Changes
* Freddy, My Love
* Greased Lightnin'
* Mooning
* Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee
* Since I Don't Have You
* We Go Together

Act II
* Shakin' at the High School Hop
* It's Raining on Prom Night
* Shakin' at the High School Hop (Reprise)
* Born to Hand-Jive
* Beauty School Dropout
* Alone at a Drive-In Movie
* Rock 'N' Roll Party Queen
* There Are Worse Things I Could Do
* Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)
* All Choked Up
* We Go Together (Reprise)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
It uses material from "Wikipedia article "Grease (Musical)"

Jeff O's Retro Music
50's Songs You Never Heard!
New Original Oldies Doo Wop, 50's Rock & Rockabilly songs.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Grease Final 12 turn pro overnight? - 2 cuts return:

At the start of the show tonight, the final 12 contestants competing for the two lead rolls Sandy & Danny, performed a short version of the Grease theme song on stage together. All of a sudden, you were watching performers that knew what they were doing, almost as if you were watching professionals! What happened to the amatures that we saw last week? Looks like we have all been set up. Yo! Grease producers. I wasn't born yesterday and you ain't foolin' Jeff O'.

Unlike the shoddy productions of the three previous shows, tonight's show was a full blown extravaganza with all the stops taken out. Lights, stage, pit orchestra, costumes and show production all top notch, not to mention Sandy herself (Olivia Newton John) making a grand entrance then escorted to the judges box. What a dish!

After the first four contestants, two male and two female took the stage for a sing off (all performed well), two surprise contestants were brought back from the previous week who were cut, Mat Nolan and Ashley Anderson. Mat Nolan sang a flat Roy Orbison tune and Ashley sang flat on her song also. Judges confirmed my critique, but they were still voted back by the judges and were given another chance to compete. I don't see how they are going to sing in tune by next week. Maybe they'll turn a tuning fork on'em.

The format of two male and two female vocal performances continued. All performed well. The judges were split on the two girls but open minded enough to see what happens in future auditions. Mama Mio! 4 to go.

Intermission: A little pajama party with Olivia Newton John with questions from potential Sandy's about the movie Grease and tips on how to play the part.

The format of two male and two female vocal performances continued. All performed well. Judges loved them all.

Next comes all 14 contestants performing together on stage for a finale number (We Go Together) in full Grease costume. Did a good enough job to make one believe that they were rehearsed and part of the production already.

The Sandy's (Including Nicknames)

* Ashley Anderson, "Emotional Sandy"
* Juliana Hansen, "Rock Chick Sandy"
* Kathleen Monteleone, "Spiritual Sandy"
* Laura Osnes, "Small Town Sandy"
* Kate Rockwell, "Serious Sandy"
* Allie Schulz, "Baby Sandy"
* Ashley Spencer, "Ballerina Sandy"

The Danny's (Including Nick Names)

* Jason Ceyala, "Boy Band Danny"
* Max Crumm, "Slacker Danny"
* Chad Doreck, "Ambitious Danny"
* Kevin Greene, "Bellhop Danny"
* Derek Keeling, "Wholesome Danny"
* Austin Miller, "Hot Danny"
* Matt Nolan, "Second Chance Danny"

End of show, viewers took a poll for their favorite Sandy & Danny.

Entertainment value of tonight's show? Jeff O' gives a 7.

Later Alligator, Jeff O'

Jeff O's Retro Music
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Sunday, January 21, 2007

At Grease Academy, the cuts run deep and fast:

After a little more in depth auditioning of the initial 50 Grease contestants singing, dancing and acting abilities, the herd was thinned in half.

The remaining performers rehearsed for a showcase in front of a live audience that was to take place in 36 hours.

At the live show, contestants danced and sang a little to show what they had. The bulk of the show was focused on vocal ability.

I didn't hear one performer that had the Motz(That's apple sauce) in the vocal department to play a professional Broadway show in only a few months time. There were a few that if coached for a year or so, might turn out to be good singers. If these performers can't make the grade vocally, the party's over for them. We are talking about leading roles in a Broadway musical! The performers for the lead must be triple threats. They must be exceptional actors, singers and dancers. Unless there is a miracle worker on the Grease payroll, I don't see it happening with these cats.

The 50 were cut deep and fast to twelve. Six Danny's and six Sandy's? I can feel the ringers standing backstage. No doubt forthcoming in weeks to come.

See ya' next week, Jeff O'

Jeff O's Retro Music
50's Songs You Never Heard!
New Original Doo Wop, 50's Rock & Rockabilly songs.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Open casting call for Grease ends after NY auditions:

The open casting call for the new Broadway musical show production of Grease opening this coming spring, has wrapped up in New York city.

The mostly amateur, unknown in the theater performers that competed on the TV reality show "Grease You're The One That I Want", were participating in an open casting call for the show. Now I get it! From what I saw and heard, there was only one contestant selected that I believe had the "Right Stuff" to move on to the final cut, Dominic Fortuna who made the first cut in the Chicago auditions.

Evidently, there have already been 50 performers that have already made the semifinal cut for the two leading rolls Sandy & Danny in the production. They will be competing for the final cut on TV in the coming weeks. No doubt the majority of them are seasoned theater professionals. I believe the producers already have a 99.9% idea of who they are going to give the leading parts to. It would be a miracle if any of the open casting call competitors succeed in acquiring either of the staring rolls, but you never know in this business.

Jeff O's Retro Music
50's Songs You Never Heard!
New Original Doo Wop, 50's Rock & Rockabilly songs.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Grease Academy on Access Hollywood

Tonight, Access Hollywood showed a little segment on behind the scenes at Grease Academy.

I believe the performers in the segment were supporting cast members excluding the two leads Sandy & Danny, who will be the finalists in the competition. The supporting cast is ready and rehearsed. Sounds solid! Wonder who will be playing the other top parts in the show. I feel a few ringers in the works.

They showed clips of the cast singing and dancing to songs in the show accompanied by a piano player. (Wish they would add a piano player to the TV show competition. It would make the show more entertaining, they would get more out of the singers by starting them off in the right musical key, it would give them some rhythm so that they could dance around a little and show a little vocal style against the piano players chord changes.)

Looks like things are moving according to plan.

Jeff O's Retro Music
50's Songs You Never Heard!
New Original Doo Wop, 50's Rock & Rockabilly songs.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Jeff O' - Grease Fanatic Since 1972

I've been a Grease fan since I saw the first Broadway troop perform the show in Philadelphia Pa. back in 1972.

The following year when the next production rolled around, I jacked up my 1955 Buick like Grease Lightnin', slicked back my DA and put on my Thunderbird jacket. Man, I was ready for action! Had a date that night with a swingin' chick that was going to doll up like a pink lady and all! The plan was to roll my Grease mobile in front of the theater and make everybody think that we were part of the show. As a fringe benefit, I'd get a free parking place downtown. Sweet! I had the perfect plan but it went south. When I went to pick up my swingin' date, she wasn't there! I got stood up! O.K., so I'll do the stunt myself I said. Put my car in drive and stepped on the gas. Three blocks later, my Dynaflow transmission blew a gasket! Never made it to the show and that's Rock And Roll History.

Jeff O's Retro Music
50's Songs You Never Heard!
New Original Doo Wop, 50's Rock & Rockabilly songs.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

$1.3 million dollars in ticket sales for Grease!

Just read a press release about Grease the Broadway show.

The show has already pre-sold $1.3 million dollars in tickets!

According to the Nielsen ratings, the premier of the TV show had
11.6 million viewers. That's a gang of Greasers!

Grease will hit the Broadway stage on July 24/07.

Jeff O'

Jeff O's Retro Music
50's Songs You Never Heard!
New Original Doo Wop, 50's Rock & Rockabilly songs.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Grease TV Show Premier

Tonight, I greased back my DA with a little Dixie Peach Pomade, slipped on my Penny Loafers, black T-shirt and fired up a nice cigar to get me into a rockin' mood for the premier of 'Grease You're The One That I Want'. The new talent show on NBC 10 where contestants compete for two leading roles in the Broadway stage production of Grease. (Oh forgot, popped the cork on a chilled bottle of Thunderbird and placed it into a 5lb paper bag. "Oh Baby, You Know What I Like!") Turned the dial to NBC 10, adjusted my rabbit ears and was all set to go by 7:59PM.

Eight O' Clock, Let's Rock!

Good thing I remembered to brown bag my bottle of Thunderbird or I don't think that I could have gotten through the first installment of 'Grease You're The One That I Want'. For the first hour, the LA contestants that tried out had no business walking through the stage doors. Not one could sing his or her way out of a paper bag nor did they have the character presence needed to take the leading male or female parts, Danny & Sandy. They did move a few contestants through to the second phase of the audition. Can they dance?

Second Hour. Chicago Auditions:

The Thunderbird kicked in and I'm starting to enjoy the show. Still allot of amatures except for a 42 year old contestant named Dominic Fortuna who had played the part of Danny before in semi-pro productions. The cat looked good, carried a tune and had a few groovy moves. Obviously the man had talent. I was right, they sent him to Grease Academy where they groom the advancing contestants for the finals.

They combined the LA and Chicago contestants for the dance off and advanced a bunch to Grease Academy. Other than Dominic, the others didn't do anything for me. No doubt the competition is new and there will be Mooch O' more talent to come in future episodes. I expect some real ringers to pop out of the wood work next broadcast.

Jeff O'

Jeff O's Retro Music
50's Songs You Never Heard!
New Original Doo Wop, 50's Rock & Rockabilly songs.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Grease Is The Word!

If you haven't seen the original Broadway production in the theater or the movie with Olivia Newton John and John Travolta, no sweat. The new NBC television show premiering this Sunday night will hip you to where it's at. Broadway star want to be's from all over the country will be auditioning for the two staring roles in a full blown stage production of Grease when it's all over. What a showdown!

I'm all exited about this talent show. The contestants will have to show some real professional talent in order to win this competition. They will have to dance, sing, act and look the part.

Now on with the show!, Jeff O'

Jeff O's Retro Music
50's Songs You Never Heard!
New Original Doo Wop, 50's Rock & Rockabilly songs.