Every performer is unique in their own way. But there are some who are so iconic that it does not take much to conjure up an image of them.
Olivia Newton-John was one of these performers. She passed away today after a decades-long battle with cancer. She was 73.
Remembered for her singing career and for playing Sandy opposite John Travolta in the 1978 movie musicalGrease, she was known for her wholesome image and unique singing voice.
It may be surprising to learn that Newton-John was also Jewish via her mother’s side of the family. Her maternal grandfather, Max Born, was a respected mathematician and physicist. Like his colleague, Albert Einstein, Born and his family fled Germany at the start of World War II. They had no idea that they were escaping certain death.
In the words of our mutual ancestors, may her memory be a blessing. Z”l.
Reality television has a way of worming itself into every niche of the television world that it can.
In 2007, it made it’s way to Broadway. Grease: You’re the One That I Want!aired for one season. The purpose of the program was to use the reality show format to cast another revival of Grease. Using the competition show as a backbone, the format was not unfamiliar: the contestants would perform every week. One by one they are eliminated until the winners are cast as Danny and Sandy.
At the time, it was good television. Looking back I can see that it was not that good. It was not completely lifeless, but it was one of the shows that was only destined to last one season.
Every story, regardless of genre or format has two basic narrative elements: the hero and the villain.
As the coronavirus continues on it’s path of destruction across the United States and across the world, heroes and villains have started to emerge from within the headlines.
The villain, I think many would argue, is you know who. His inability to lead and his ego has created a nightmare that was thoroughly preventable. The hero, as I see it New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. From the get go, Governor Cuomo has been steadfast, honest and the leader that this state and the nation desperately needs.
Randy Rainbow’s latest video was released this evening. Titled ANDY! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody, the video is a love letter to the Governor as only Randy Rainbow could have written.
Based on the song Sandy from the musical Grease, this song is pure joy and the momentary escape that we are all searching for.
Thank you, Randy, for giving us another reason to smile and laugh. It may just be enough to get us through this horrible time.
Grease is one of those movies. We’ve all seen it at least a dozen times. We’ve sung along to the songs during karaoke. Grease has been the go to musical for high schools, colleges and local community theater groups for decades.
On June 16th, Grease will be celebrating its 40th anniversary.
On the surface, it’s just the simple will they or won’t they story set in high school. Danny (John Travolta) and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) have a brief relationship one summer. After the summer ends, they don’t expect to see each other again. Then Sandy transfers to Danny’s high school. Danny is the bad boy, Sandy is the good girl. Their relationship, such as it is, is not easy.
This narrative is the blue print for many high school romance movies that have come down the pike since 1978. While the movie is cute and predictable, I have a few issues with it.
The actors do not look like they are high school. While some creative teams who are also working on films/television shows set in high school have cast actors who look young enough to be in high school, it’s clear that most of the cast were way past their teens when they made this movie.
The amount of sexism is astounding. Granted, the film is set in 1950’s, but still hard to ignore the sexism coming out of the script.
Danny tried to force himself on Sandy and Marty (Dinah Manoff) is nearly given a roofy by Vince Fontaine (Edd Byrnes).
Rizzo (Stockard Channing) has more depth than Sandy. How is it that Sandy is the lead female character, but Rizzo has the better character arc?
Sandy changes for Danny. While Danny tries to change, he really doesn’t.
I hate to say it, but Danny and Sandy are not going to last. While they do ride off into the sunset at the end of the movie, that sunset is short-lived at best.
Regardless if the bullet points above, Grease has something going for it. It’s been popular for 40 years for a reason.
The themes of high school, young love and growing up are timeless. Add in a very catchy soundtrack, an iconic movie musical and you’ve got Grease (1978).
The go to musical for school productions and local theater groups for over 40 years, Grease is the story of a high school romance set in the late 1950’s. Sandy (Olivia Newton John) and Danny (John Travolta) had a brief summer romance. But summer is over and school has started. Sandy is now the new good girl and Danny is the leader of the T-Birds, bad boy greasers.
Danny is not the same boy Sandy knew over the summer. Sandy is spending her time with the Pink Ladies, the female equivalent of the T-Birds. Will Sandy and Danny’s romance be nothing more than a summer romance or can they bridge the gap that is keeping them apart?
We all know this movie. We all know the songs. The stage musical premiered in 1971 and has not left the public consciousness since then.
Grease is a classic. A light and frothy 1950’s high school romance between a greaser and a good girl, it has not left our cultural consciousness since it premiered in 1971. In 1982, four years after Grease was transferred from the stage to the screen, the good people who run Hollywood decided that Grease needed a sequel. Grease 2 was born.
Two years after the original greasers have graduated, there is new senior class. Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulfield) is the new kid in school. Stephanie Zinone, leader of the Pink ladies (Michelle Pfeiffer), can only date greasers, according to the rules the social high school hierarchy. Stephanie is becoming unsatisfied with her relationship with Johnny Nogerelli (Adrian Zmed), the leader of the T-Birds.
Stephanie kisses Michael based on a dare. Michael becomes infatuated with her. To get her to see him, he learns to ride a motorcycle, changes into a leather jacket and faces a potential rumble with the T-Birds.
This movie tries very hard to live up the reputation of it’s predecessor. The concept is there, but this movie isn’t. There are references to the original movie, with some of the original actors coming back for cameos or smaller roles. Despite the talent of the then young cast that includes Lorna Luft (Judy Garland’s daughter), the movie is not good.