Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sandy gets sexy with appearance by Frankie Avalon

"Look At Me I'm Sandra Dee" is the song that the pillow talking, pajama party girls (female contestants) opened up with tonight on the "Grease - You're The One That I Want" TV talent contest. To nights show will focus on the female contestants bad girl, sexy attitude, musical and acting abilities. Frankie Avalon will be adding his bit also.

First up was Ashley Spencer singing, acting and dancing to a skit using the Nancy Sinatra hit from the sixties, "These Boots Are Made For Walking". Not a hard tune to sing vocally. She barley cut it. (Jim Jacobs loved the boots that she was wearing and I believe was a little turned on. I believe that the other judges were Luke warm with her.)

Second up was Allie Schulz. She did a nice comedy musical skit. She was also given a Luke warm critique by the judges.

Third up was Laura Osnes chirping a rendition of the Peggy Lee hit song "Fever". Her sultry little black evening dress was the best part of the skit. OO La La! Her voice was as flat and out of tune as a cat trapped inside of a piano screaming for help! (Judges gave here a thumbs up?)

Sing-off of the bottom four: The bottom four (least popular voted by the studio audience from lasts weeks show) traded verses to "Blue Moon", a Doo Wop hit song for the Marcells in the 1950's and now part of the musical Broadway show Grease. All sounded week. Maybe they would be best as background singers. No way, Doo Wop songs have vocal harmonies. No harmony here. (Judges saved Kathleen Monteleone and Chad Doreck to continue the competition.) Kevin Greene and Kate Rockwell are history.

Kathleen performed "Let's Sing It For The Boys" off key and flat. If she doesn't get the ax next week, I'll give up cigars!

Frankie Avalon and TV contestant cast recreated a scene from Grease with Frankie singing "Beauty School Dropout". I thought that Dick Clark was the worlds oldest living teenager?

Laura was voted by the Judges as the nights best Sandy.

Farewell Kevin and Kate.

Jeff O' Out!

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Grease says goodbye to Jason Ceyala & Juliana Hansen:

Billy Bush opened the show last night with an introduction of the finalists performing a musical number from Grease, (Born To hand Jive) to the roar of the studio audience. The twelve remaining contestants traded vocal choruses throughout the number. (Not one of them could sing the song with any conviction or quality. It's a Rock And Roll song and these Broadway performers sing to straight for Rock And Roll. They need to go to the Baptist Church on Sundays and pick up a little soul!)

They paired off the six Sandys and Danny's for a sing-off for this segment of the competition to see how they would work together or have the best chemistry on stage.

Once again they picked a bottom 4 (Juliana, Jason, Kevin & Kathleen) that received the lowest number of votes by last weeks show from the studio audience. Juliana and Jason who had the lowest votes by the studio audience from last weeks show performed a duet together right off. Juliana and Kevin were cut from the competition by the judges. Ouch!

The first pair of top Sandy's and Danny's (Chad & Allie) performed a rendition of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" to the pleasure of the judges.

The second pair of top Sandy's and Danny's (Laura & Austin) performed an arrangement of "I don't Know Much" . Not waiting for the judges, both cut the song exceptionally and had what you would call great stage chemistry. Handsome couple too. (Judges concurred with my assessment.)

The third pair of top Sandy's and Danny's (Max & Ashley) performed "Give It Up". I noticed that they were both severely nervous. You could hear their voices shaking as the sang and as they were conversing with the judges. (Judges thought they were good but not being natural enough with their performance and were working too hard.)

The fourth pair of top Sandy's and Danny's (Derek & Kate) performed "From This Moment On". Right off, Derek started singing flat. Kate sounded fine. Their harmony parts to the song sounded flat due to Derek's flat singing. He's a handsome cat but I think his Goose is cooked down the line.(Judges agreed with me on Derek's flat notes.)

The two bottom Sandy's and Danny's that were saved by the judges at the beguinning of the show (Kevin & Kathleen ) performed "Let's Give Them Something To talk About". Wrong song for these straight singers, voices didn't blend well together, no chemisty etc..... No go in my opinion. (Judges agreed with me about having the wrong song. Ian agreed that there days were numbered.)

Goodbye Jason and Juliana.

Dig ya' later, Jeff O'

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Grease on Broadway - Elvis on Broadway? - All Shook Up:

Dig this! Looks like the 50's are making a comeback this year with another Broadway show called "All Shook Up". It incorporates the King's hit songs into a Broadway Jukebox Musical extravaganza!

All Shook Up (musical)

Broadway jukebox musical featuring the music of the classic rock star Elvis Presley, with a book by Joe DiPietro. It opened at the Palace Theater on March 24, 2005 and closed(opened again 2007) on September 25, 2005 after 213 performances.

The musical, directed by Christopher Ashley, is based on the plot of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. It takes place during a 24 hour period in the summer of 1955 in a small town in the American Midwest, and tells the story of Natalie, a young girl with dreams of hitting the road, and Chad, a charismatic rebel who brings rock and roll to the town and changes it forever.

Chad, a black-jacketed, rock and roll loving motorcyclist stops at the town's garage because his bike needs repair. There Natalie, the mechanic (presumably an allusion to actress Natalie Wood, an off-screen date of Elvis Presley), immediately falls for Chad but overhears him saying that he's had "a lot" of women but only goes on travels with men. So Natalie covers her hair with a hat and puts motor oil on her face to approximate a beard, instantly becoming "Ed", Chad's sidekick (perhaps an allusion to Presley's friend Nick Adams who was also a close friend to Natalie Wood). Eventually Chad falls in love with Ed.

The original Broadway cast included Cheyenne Jackson, Jenn Gambatese, and Jonathan Hadary.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
It uses material from "Wikipedia article "All_Shook_Up_Musical"

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

2 Grease Broadway Hopefuls Cut - Mat Nolan - Ashley Anderson

The show opened tonight with a rehearsed number from Grease(Summer Nights) by the 14 remaining Grease "Your The One That I Want" contestants. The whole gang was starting to get a feel for the show. They sounded pretty good as an ensemble singing in unison, although none in my opinion were stand out quality for leading parts in a professional production.

Setting up the format for the nights competition, judges selected contestants for a sing-off where singers were paired off, Sandy's and Danny's. A bottom four were selected to perform last. Out of these four, two will be cut from the competition.

The first six performers took the stage and ran through a variety of song genres ranging from pop to show tunes. Not going to elaborate on individual performances because all singers performed with about the same proficiency. Mediocre lounge singers at best.

Intermission with Andrew Lloyd Weber (Guest judge for the night):
Contestants performed a number from Phantom Of The Opera (Andrew Lloyd's Baby), then a little rehearsal room action with Andrew coaching Grease contestants in song and performance.

Four top contestants performed with the same results as the first six.

The last four bottom contestants that were selected at the beginning of the show for the sing-off, stood side by side on stage trading licks on the hit 50's song "Tears On My Pillow".

Mat Nolan and Ashley Anderson were cut as expected, then performed a farewell from the competition number from Grease, "Sandra Dee" .

Jeff O' Out!

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

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Grease - Olivia Newton John's film Breakthrough:

Olivia Newton-John's film breakthrough came when she was offered the female lead in Grease (1978), after a chance meeting with producer Allan Carr at a party at Helen Reddy's house in Los Angeles. John Travolta, already chosen as the male lead in the movie, wanted Newton-John to be his co-star in the film, and he let his wishes be known to Carr and director Randal Kleiser before either of them met Newton-John. Concerned that she was either too old or not confident enough to play the part, Newton-John insisted on a screen test with Travolta. She liked what she saw when she viewed the test and then happily signed on for the project, shot in the summer of 1977.

The film was the biggest box office hit of 1978 and remained popular enough that it was re-released in theaters in the United States on its 20th anniversary. Two songs from the movie soundtrack, "You're The One That I Want" and "Summer Nights", went to #1 on US and international charts and stood at the #1 position for nine and seven weeks respectively on the UK charts. Newton-John's solo number "Hopelessly Devoted To You" was also a hit. The album was also a huge hit in Australia and Newton-John attended the premieres in both Sydney and Melbourne. She was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Grease.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
It uses material from "Wikipedia article "Olivia_Newton_John"

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New Original Oldies Doo Wop, 50's Rock & Rockabilly songs.

Jim Jacobs - Co-Writer of Grease:

Jim Jacobs is an American composer, lyricist and writer for the theater.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Jacobs attended Taft High School, during which time he played guitar and sang with a band called DDT & the Dynamiters. In 1963, he became involved with a local theatre group that included Warren Casey. For the next five years he appeared in more than fifty theatrical productions in the Chicago area, working with such people as Second City founder Paul Sills, while earning a living as an advertising copywriter. He also landed a small role in the 1969 film Medium Cool.

Jacobs' Broadway acting debut was in a 1970 revival of the play No Place to Be Somebody, followed by the national tour. At the same time, he and Casey were collaborating on a play about high school life during the golden age of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s. Entitled Grease, it premiered in 1971 at the Kingston Mines Theater in the Old Town section of Chicago. Producers Ken Waissman and Maxine Fox saw the show and suggested to the playwrights that it might work better as a musical, and told them if the creative partners 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, moved to Broadway, and earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical. The show went on to become a West End hit, a hugely successful film (for which he and Warren wrote additional songs), and a staple of regional theatre, summer stock, community theatre, and high school drama groups.

At present, Jacobs is serving as a judge on the NBC reality series Grease: You're The One That I Want, designed to cast via viewer votes the lead roles in a June 2007 Broadway revival of Grease directed by Kathleen Marshall.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
It uses material from "Wikipedia article "Jim_Jacobs"

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Monday, February 5, 2007

About the movie Grease - Differences from stage play:

Grease (1978) is a film directed by Randal Kleiser and based on Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's musical, Grease. The film stars John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Jeff Conaway and Stockard Channing. It was originally released to theatres in the U.S. on June 16, 1978. It was released in the U.S. on VHS during the 1980s; the latest VHS release was June 23, 1998 as 20th Anniversary Edition. On September 24, 2002, it was released on DVD for the first time. On September 19, 2006, it was re-released on DVD as the Rockin' Rydell Edition, which includes a black Rydell High T-Bird jacket cover.

More 50's Grease Costumes

Differences from stage play:

The original stage play had more sexual references than the MPAA would allow under a PG rating. In the original stage play, there was references to using plastic wrap as a condom, which had to be removed. To overcome the censors, there weren't any blatant references to this, but Danny briefly rubs plastic wrap over his crotch during "Grease Lightning".

Several musical numbers were not used in the film. They appear, however, as jukebox tunes, or band numbers at the high school dance. Among them: "Freddy, My Love", "Those Magic Changes", and "It's Raining on Prom Night" all of which were performed by characters in the stage musical (however, Danny does sing along with the band for a few lines of "Those Magic Changes"; on Broadway, John Travolta's character Doody sang the song). "Grease Lightning" was supposed to be sung by Jeff Conaway's character, Kenickie, as it is in the stage version. John Travolta used his clout to have his character sing it. The director felt it was only right to ask Conaway if it was okay. At first he refused, but he eventually gave in. Also, one of the characters in the stage play, Roger, is named Putzie in the movie version.

Olivia Newton-John's producer John Farrar wrote two new songs for the movie version: "Hopelessly Devoted To You" and "You're The One That I Want."

In the musical, Sandy is American and her last name is Dumbrowski. Since Newton-John couldn't affect an American accent, her character was changed to an Australian transfer student and her last name was changed to Olsson.

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

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

Saturday, February 3, 2007

You're The One That I Want - NBC reality series:

Grease: You're The One That I Want is an NBC reality series designed to cast the lead roles of Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko in a June 2007 Broadway revival of the musical Grease directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winning Kathleen Marshall.


In 2005, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and David Ian agreed to be co-producers on London production of the Sound of Music. After approaching and being turned down by actress Scarlett Johansson, Lloyd-Webber approached the BBC, and created the reality TV show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, hosted by Graham Norton.

A new stage version of the musical Grease is being developed for Broadway theatre, to be shown from June 2007 and directed by Kathleen Marshall. The NBC show from the producers of Dancing With the Stars (which also used an original BBC format), use a reality TV show format to cast the lead characters of Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko. The show had open auditions, where the applicants will be whittled down to twelve contestants by a panel of experts. American telephone voting will select who will undertake the lead roles for the first year of the production. Paul Nicholas and David Ian Associates Ltd, Nederlander Presentations and Phoenix Productions will produce the show.

The show's title is taken from the song You're The One That I Want from the 1978 Grease movie, that ironically was not featured in the original Broadway musical.

The judges

The panel of three judges consists of: 2006 Tony award winning director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall, Grease co-writer Jim Jacobs, and British judge David Ian (who has a Simon Cowell-type role on the show) who was a judge on the original BBC How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

The show's hosts are Access Hollywood anchor Billy Bush, and British actress/presenter Denise van Outen.

In addition, the show features guest judges and apperances, such as: Olivia Newton-John, Lucy Lawless, Jeff Conaway, Barry Bostwick, Marilu Henner, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Adrian Zmed.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
It uses material from "Wikipedia article "Grease: You're The One That I Want"

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