Grease Sing-A-Long at Hollywood Bowl included many favorites like "We Go Together." (Paramount Pictures)
It appears that the Grease Sing-A-Long is becoming a unique, fun-filled tradition at the Hollywood Bowl. Such was the case Sunday, July 13, when the venue hosted the event to a sold-out crowd.
Among the highlights of the night were host Didi Conn, who played Frenchy in the classic 1978 film adaptation of the musical. Her vivid energy was present throughout the night, evident by the way she interacted with the crowd and got everyone cheering, “Grease is the word.”
The pre-show also featured American rock ‘n’ roll group Sha Na Na, who performed as Johnny Casino and the Gamblers in the movie. Without a doubt, their 40-minute set brought back many memories. “Ding-a-Ling-a-Ling-Ding-Dong,” “Born To Hand Jive” and “Love Potion No. 9,” among other classic tracks, were a part of Sha Na Na’s setlist. From beginning to end, they delighted fans, who enjoyed reliving every second of the film.
“Why is their outing so short?” a lady to my left said when Sha Na Na walked off the stage. The doo-wop legends were already being missed just seconds after they finished playing.
For the past few years, the Hollywood Bowl (in conjunction with Paramount Pictures) has managed to present a lively sing-a-long of one of cinemas all-time favorites in Grease, which stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. It has returned year after year due to popular demand; each show has been a success.
People of all ages, including kids under the age 10, dress up like characters from the movie: greasers and pink ladies. It was a real treat to witness in person.
Grease is the highest grossing movie musical of al time. During Sunday evening’s screening on the Hollywood Bowl’s colossal screen, the audience was reminded why. The musical is a smart blend of comedy; up-and-coming, attractive and talented actors; and some of the most infectiously upbeat lyrics and tunes ever.
The sing-a-long began with “Summer Nights,” led by the charismatic voices of Travolta and Newton-John. When the chorus of the track came up, the audience cheerfully followed with “Tell me more, tell me more.” I never would have imagined that it would be so thrilling to not only hear, but see with my own eyes. Of course, I jumped in and sang along when I could.
“Born to Hand Jive” also caused a happy roar to erupt from spectators, though this tune features more dancing and hand jiving than singing. Young girls in particular placed themselves in between the aisles to do the infamous hand jive. I, for one, just couldn’t; as much as I attempted to do so, my hands just couldn’t follow the routine … but it was fun trying!
Grease boasts a remarkable list of musical numbers, but “You’re the One That I Want” tops them all.
“Sandy,” Danny (played by Travolta) says when the number begins.
“Tell me about it, stud,” replies Sandy (Newton-John). And, that’s how one of the beauties of the night arrived.
“I got chills, they’re multiplying,” the venue sang along, but nothing beats: “You’re the one that I want. Oo-oo-oo, honey. The one that I want. Oo-oo-oo, honey. The one that I want. Oo-oo-oo, the one I need. Oh, yes indeed.”
Show-goers experienced so many goose bumps in those three and a half minutes. But, sadly, the outing had to come to an end.
“I’ll see you next year,” the lady to my left said when she exited her terrace box seats.
I replied, “That’s the plan. Count on it.” After all, it is what I want because “it’s electrifying,” I sang.