Tell us about it, studs.
Now that we’ve had some time to sit and think about the amazing production of Grease: Live, we’re still just in awe of what FOX was able to accomplish with their take on the live TV musical.
Sure, NBC was the first network to try to make theater cool again, but Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Hudgens, and the rest of the cast really shined on Sunday night, blowing us away visually, technically, and sonically.
But don’t just take our word for it — the critics are all in agreement that Grease: Live was certainly the bee’s knees.
Plus, it didn’t hurt that we got tons of star-making moments from Kether Donohue, Keke Palmer, Elle McLemore, Jordan Fisher, and Haneefah Wood!
However, everyone did agree on one thing… Mario Lopez was kinda the worst…
Ch-ch-check out what today’s top critics had to say about Grease: Live (below)!!!
Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly: “Live events are the thing now, they say. But there’s a big gap between “something happening right now” and “something that’s happening.” For me, Grease: Live started happening right away, when the oddly Lubezkian camera followed Jessie J behind the scenes and into the dressing rooms. There were the Pink Ladies: Vanessa Hudgens, Palmer, Jepsen, You’re the Worst‘s Kether Donohue. Hudgens held up a smartphone ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ and they posed for a selfie. The camera moved on, restless, out into the rain. El Ni├â┬▒o couldn’t stop this beat. The dancers carried umbrellas; hey, it worked for Gene Kelly.”
Maureen Ryan, Variety: “Grease: Live! won’t make anyone forget the original film any time soon, but that wasn’t the point. The idea was to cook up a must-see event that got attention on social media and delivered a crisply executed and energetic final product. Thanks to exceptional work from director Thomas Kail and several sterling supporting performances, much of Grease: Live was as sweet and tasty as root beer float.”
Daniel Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter: “In addition to [Keke] Palmer, the show got great vocal moments from Jordan Fisher as Doody and Joe Jonas as Johnny Casino, while You’re the Worst favorite Kether Donahue stole several scenes by force of will, line-delivery or hilarious physicality. Also adding punchlines were Ana Gasteyer as Principal McGee and Haneefah Wood as Blanche, plus Wendell Piece just happy to be invited to the party as Coach Calhoun. Less fortunate was Carly Rae Jepsen, very likable right up until she was saddled with the dud of a new song, All I Need Is an Angel, a way-too-on-the-nose plea for direction from Boyz II Men, who collectively made a very good Teen Angel… The less said about Mario Lopez’s periodic intrusions the better.”
Caroline Siede, The A.V. Club: “Peter Pan Live! made stabs at adding cinematic movement to its camera work (something neither The Sound Of Music Live! nor The Wiz Live! really did), but it doesn’t hold a candle to Grease: Live‘s truly impressive cinematography, which made the entire production feel more like a movie musical than a stage play. Some of the big ensemble numbers were just stunning to watch, particularly the high school dance sequence that culminated in an exhilarating performance of Hand Jive (sung by none other than Joe Jonas). The camera fluidly weaved among the cast as they threw themselves (quite literally) into Zach Woodlee‘s dazzling choreography.
Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times: “The Grease that the director Thomas Kail (of Broadway’s Hamilton) served up was cinematic, impressively so, with its countless cameras, its tracking shots, its zooms, its galloping from soundstage to soundstage. Executing such a production live must have required an unbelievable amount of coordination and technical expertise. But, despite the presence of a live audience for parts of it, the experience for viewers wasn’t remotely theater. Good theater is spine-tingling; Grease: Live! was spectacle.”
Matt Taminini, Broadway World: Leave it to the network that reinvented television with American Idol and created So You Think You Can Dance, one of the most artistically significant shows in recent memory, to figure out the proper balance in merging musical theatre and live television. FOX’s Grease: Live learned from three years of live, middling musicals on NBC (the satisfying Wiz Live! notwithstanding) and produced the best, most thrilling live TV musical in half a century.”
Amber Dowling, The Wrap: “From the opening, it was clear the game had indeed been changed from the live format audiences are used to. That anything-can-happen excitement was apparent during the opening sequence as Jessie J paraded through the Warner Bros. lots ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ inside and out ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ singing the theme song. In one little number she proved a rainstorm wasn’t going to quell the production values or overall vibe.”
Do U agree with the critics??
[Image via FOX.]