Monday, July 14, 2014

Grease is the Word

It’s almost too embarrassing to admit, but I had never seen the movie Grease until last night’s 4th annual sing-along event at the Hollywood Bowl. Judging by the crowd, I was one of the last people in L.A. to see the film. At least a third of the nearly 18,000 attendees dressed as characters from the movie. My favorites were the pink-haired ladies at the end of our row and a trio of fans, who arrived just before the show started, dressed as John Travolta and two beauty salon gals with hair-curlers piled high. They were fun, but made no sense to me until the musical number “Beauty School Dropout,” during which the hair-curler gals—actually a man and a woman—stood-up and danced, much to the delight of everyone in our section.

 Pink-haired ladies a la "Frenchie"

The backside of the faux Travolta and hair-curler gals

I must say I was dubious when Tim picked Grease as one of our Hollywood Bowl concerts this year. But like everyone else there, I ended up having a blast. Retro rockers Sha Na Na, who also appear in the film, got the audience in the mood by playing tunes from the ‘50s, while we waited for the sun to set. Didi Conn (“Frenchie”) was the M.C. As soon as it was dark enough, the movie began to roll and everyone around me started to sing, including my husband, who sang even the “girl” parts! I was surprised to find that I, too, knew a lot of the songs. 

Plus the event was highly interactive, even if you didn’t know the story. We were each given a bag of goodies to wave during certain parts of the film: pom-poms for the football pep rally scene, a yellow hankie during the car race, a comb to slick back our greasy hair, etc. Two guys behind us had memorized the dialogue and so yelled out key lines. It was a hoot.

I certainly don’t need to see Grease again, but last night was lots of fun. Highly recommended for anyone who loves John Travolta, Olivia Newton John or 1950s-style teen musicals.

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