'Grease: Sing-A-Long' Has Them Dancing in the Aisles
By Jo Piazza Posted Jun 14th 2010 03:00PM
But the makers of 'Grease' have to be commended for not doing what so many studios are doing these days -- remaking classic films with modern-day actors. 'Grease' could very easily be done today with Zach Efron and Miley Cyrus, and everyone over the age of 20 would cringe while it raked in tween dollars at the box office.
But thankfully that remake has not been made (maybe a lesson was learned from that Michelle Pfeiffer-starring sequel). Where 'Grease' is reinventing itself this summer is in a re-release of the classic 1978 John Travolta and Olivia Newton John musical film -- with subtitles. Yes, coming soon in a limited engagement to a city perhaps near you is 'Grease: Sing-A-Long!'
The 'Sing-A-Long' will enjoy a special one-night engagement on June 25 at the Hollywood Bowl and will then play in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Seattle, Miami, San Diego and Austin for two weeks starting July 8.
But we got a sneak peak of the amazingness that is 'Grease: Sing-A-Long' this weekend at the Seattle International Film Festival (a delightful month-long event with none of the pretentiousness of other film festivals).
Seattle loved 'Grease,' and if it is any indication of how things will go in the summer screenings, this 'Sing-A-Long' thing will be a huge success.
The theater was packed with women dressed as pink ladies and not just a few men dressed as T-Birds, in leather jackets and pompadours.
Rene Gray, traveled in from Snohomish, WA, in a poodle skirt, tight sweater and Pink Ladies pin.
"This is just required material for a 'Grease: Sing-A-Long,'" she told us.
Nearly 80% of the crowd raised their hands when asked if they had seen the movie more than ten times. There was one 'Grease' virgin. She was immediately shunned by the others. The instructions for the event were that singing is encouraged, if not mandatory, and dancing is not forbidden.
But things at my screening got off to a slow start.
Even original Pink Lady Dinah Manoff (Marty Maraschino) commented about how nice it was to see the words on the screen. "This is so great because I don't remember any of the words!" she said.
Singing in public is so awkward. It's like the first chant of "om" in a yoga class. You never want to be the first mover. So it was slow-going with a lot of mumbling during the opening number, 'Grease,' but by the time 'Summer Nights' rolled around, all dignity had gone out the window and folks with voices that only a mother could love were belting out their "Wella Wella Wella Huhs."
By 'Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee,' those same folks were in the aisles, doing their very best Rizzo.
It was a melee by the time 'Grease Lighting' rolled around.
The 'Sing-A-Long' may be the greatest thing you do all summer that you don't want to tell anyone about.
But word to the wise, practice your hand jive before heading to the theater, or you will be schooled during the senior carnival.
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