Thursday, July 8, 2010

What's Playing: Grease Sing-a-Long

Bigger than American Idol, badder than High School Musical, better than Glee (I said it!), Grease is, was and will always be the word.

Need proof?

Then head to a showing of Grease Sing-a-Long as it makes its way across the country this month and witness the power of a Pink Lady.

Remastered to be brighter and shinier than ever before, what makes the film such an event is the addition of lyrics to the bottom of the screen along with an open invitation to sing your heart out and dance in the aisle while watching Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta at his prime. The moment the music starts, chills rush up and down your spine, your heart thrills and you find yourself belting out words you assumed were long since forgotten, and the few you don’t remember are dancing helpfully across the bottom of the screen, just below Travolta’s adorably dimpled chin.

But this ain’t your mama’s karaoke sing-a-long, don’t expect a boring yellow ball bouncing dorkily over the words. The lyrics have been wittily animated and work seamlessly into the story, slyly winking at the audience or giving some extra sass.

Adding a slight Rocky Horror element to the experience, each audience member is given a gift bag filled with goodies to be used during the show, like pom poms for the pep rally, bubbles to blow during “Beauty School Drop Out,” and a yellow handkerchief for the climatic race at Thunder Road.

At the premiere screening at the Hollywood Bowl a few weeks ago, 18,000 people, from small children to adults in full costumes, came out to celebrate the return of one of the most beloved movie musicals of all time and it was a mind blowing experience. Do you have any idea how cool it is to see 18,000 people doing the “Greased Lightning” arm move at the same time? Or swaying in unison while singing “Hopelessly Devoted” without a single judgmental eye or ear in the crowd?

Cooler than Sandy in a cat suit purring, “Tell me about it, stud.” Remember those chills I was talking about earlier? I guarantee they’ll be multiplyin’.

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