Musical Commentary: Grease (School Version)

Spoilers for the play and the movie within!

So, judging from this commercial, there is a lot about the movie that I forgot.  Because when I saw the “School Version” play this weekend with people who had not seen the movie, I was talking about some of the differences, and I did not remember the drive-in scene from the movie.  At all.  This is what I get for acting like an authority…

ANYWAY.

This weekend I watched a production of “Grease” (School Version), which means ‘tamed down’.  But honestly, Grease (the movie) is pretty mild minor from a few word choices, so I didn’t notice a ton that was different (edit: although listening to the movie soundtrack, there are more phrases to edit than I remember…).  I do maintain that the “Mooning” song was original to the play.  And they DEFINITELY cut out the Rizzo pregnancy plot line.  But they kept the heart of it–an odd couple, and a girl who changes herself to be with a guy.  …Wait.

Yes, yes, we all know that is the problematic lesson of “Grease,” which is why when my friend asked if the play had a happy ending, I immediately said “Yes…well.  Mostly.  Well.  Everyone in the play is happy.”  And after the play, that was her one criticism, so I felt justified alluding to it.  But if we ignore that problematic lesson, there is a lot of fun in it, too.

This particular production actually had a lot of high schoolers playing the cast, which was great and made it feel authentic.  All the singing and dancing was great, although the sound needed some work on the technical side–Sandy especially was drowned out by the other vocals.  Thankfully, I already knew all the songs.

I also felt that this version felt a little…fast and loose with characterization/plot.  There was a lot more “tell” rather than “show” in the dialogue portions, and they seemed to exist only to string together the songs which may or may not be relevant to the overall plot.  Like “Those Magic Changes.”  A hilarious piece, but as the actor/character(?) said leaving the stage afterwards, “What just happened?”  I don’t know if this is the school version or this particular production, but the absurdity was maximized instead of any serious concerns.

But all in all, very fun, would recommend and watch again.  But now I really want to watch the movie again…

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