Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday At The Movies (& Theater) & Eye Candy

Monday's Movie hosted by Sheri at A Novel Menagerie

Movie: Grease (1978)
Genre: ‎Comedy, Romance, Musical
MPAA Rating: G
Directed By: Randal Kleiser
Writers: Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey (musical) & Allan Carr (adaptation) & Bronte Woodard (screenplay)
Rating: 5 Bags of Popcorn (Just Because)

I couldn't be more excited. It was my first day on campus. My first day in my dorm room. I was a freshman in college. My parents and I had just said our goodbyes, my mom and I in tears. A sudden wave of loneliness washed over me. I turned to my trusty old television set with the rabbit ears antenna and discovered the reception was horrible. Amidst all the channels I tried, I found one where the white noise was bearable even if the picture was not coming through. The sounds from the movie Grease filled the room.

A young woman heard the music coming from my doorway and stopped in to say hello. Like me, she was alone at this new school with no friends or acquaintances. At least not until that moment. We got to talking and suddenly I felt better. I am sure she did too.

I cannot remember the first time I saw the movie. I only know it has always been one of my favorite musical films. Even though I sometimes still huff about the fact that Sandy ended up having to turn into a "bad girl" to get her man, I have never lost my love for the music and story.

When I got the opportunity to see the stage production of the musical earlier this month, I was floating in the clouds. I worried that it would be a let down having grown up on the movie. Could I get past the fact that Olivia Newton John and John Travolta would not be playing Sandy and Danny? And what about Stockard Channing? No one can replace her as Betty Rizzo. Still, the opportunity to see the performance live was too good to pass up.

I had not known the history behind the musical in its original incarnation. I had not known that changes were made, songs added, when the movie version of the musical came out in 1978. Although it really should not have come as a surprise. Jim Jacobs, one of the writers, put in bits of his own life, people from his past into the musical. The T-Birds were based on the Burger Palace Boys, a real life gang in Chicago.

I wish I had been able to see the musical in its original form, although I imagine it would not be quite the same--it probably wouldn't have felt quite right to me, having only known the film version. The stage production my husband and I enjoyed the weekend before last was more closely based on the film, although it was, in some ways, still true to its roots. True to Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's dream, the stage production is more about the gang--the group as a whole--then it is about the individuals.

My husband and I had a great time. It was hard not to sing along (silently) and smile throughout the show. The performers did a wonderful job. I wished I could be right there with them on the stage.

American Idol fans might be interested to know that American Idol Taylor Hicks played the part of the Teen Angel. I have to admit that Beauty School Drop Out is my least favorite song in the film, and even after the stage show, it is still among my least favorites, Taylor Hicks notwithstanding. He did a fine job, just the same. I missed the season of American Idol in which he won and so wasn't familiar with him all that much, other than in name. The crowd in the theater went wild when he came on stage--it's obvious he has fans out there. After the show, he came out and performed a single from his new album, From a Distance. Both my husband and I were impressed.

One of the parts of the show I enjoyed the most was when Dominic Fortuna came onto the stage 10 minutes before the start of the show. He was in his role of Vince Fontaine, radio DJ. He was a hoot. He had us all laughing, waving our arms, dancing in our seats and having a fun time. It was a fantastic way to start off the show.

Musical: Grease
Genre: ‎Comedy, Romance, Musical
Directed By: Kathleen Marshall (Director and Choreographer) & Tom Whiddon (Music)
Writers: Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey

The Monday Movie Meme is brought to you by The Bumbles.

This week's movie topic is all about Eye Candy . . .
We all appreciate quality filmmaking, but sometimes you just want to appreciate the image on the screen, and we're not talking about the cinematography! There are times when an actor or actress is put in the film purely for their looks and then there are times when they win the role purely on acting chops but their physical presence is distracting anyway. Here are some examples of our favorites. What about you?

Orlando Bloom as Legolas Greenleaf from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Paul Bettany (I especially liked him in Inkheart where he plays the part of Dustfinger)

Will Smith (Do I have to specify a movie? He's good to look at in anything he does!)

Johnny Depp (Even when in character, as crazy looking as can be, there's still something mesmerizing about this man in any role he plays.)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in P.S. I Love You (Okay, so I am more a fan of his in his television appearances: Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy. But still. )

Naveen Andrews (I adore this guy on the television show Lost. But he was in The Brave One and Bride and Prejudice, both of which I saw and enjoyed, and so I'm sneaking him in on a technicality.)

Daniel Dae Kim (Same goes for Daniel Dae Kim. I don't remember him at all in Crash--although I loved the movie--or in Spiderman 2, another movie I really liked, but he was there. IMDB says so!)


  1. You're all cross linked on Mr. Linky for today's meme

  2. I thought about renting this the other night. I LOVED it as a kid and even bought the record soundtrack at an antique store (in excellent condition btw).

    You picked some great guys! My favs are Johnny Depp, Jason Dohring, Orlando Bloom, Josh Lucas, Kyle Schmid, Max Martini, and oh so many more.

  3. You know for years I thought Grease was Australian because of Olivia Newton-John! To be fair this was when I was 8.

    I agree with pretty much all your eye candy choices. Hugh Jackman would have to be included though :)

  4. Grease was a big deal for me in many ways. Yes, my friends and I would make up those crazy 70's dances to the songs. But my name is Sandy! To this day, people come up to me and go "Sandy, baby, I'm in misery!". I will always stop and watch it when it comes on TV! I'm not sure if I could handle anybody else but Olivia and John in the roles of Danny and Sandy...

    I like your eye candy! I wonder how many Viggo's were going to see today?

  5. Sigh..... Viggo and Johnny. The best eye candy I know of. Thanks! :)

  6. Grease brings back so many memories from my childhood, and Viggo as Aragorn--be still my heart!

  7. Might I just say...ROOOOWL to your eye candy. Viggo is hot, hot, hot.

  8. How could I forget Jeffrey Dean Morgan? Although he's always Denny in my mind.

  9. Legolas & Aragorn - Yes & Yes! Though I find neither of them particularly attractive outside of their LOTR roles...

  10. HOW could I have forgotten about Johnny Depp???!!!

  11. I had heard that this revival of Grease drew on elements from both the movie and the original stage show. I haven't seen the production, but the movie is still a good time, no matter what - so glad you enjoyed it!

    Your eye-candy list would make most of the women in my family happy. My mother-in-law LOVES Viggo, and my stepdaughter (age 14) adores Orlando. As for me, I'm pleased to see Naveen Andrews on your list - not normally my type, but I totally make an exception for him :-). I agree with Caspette, though - I would have included Hugh Jackman, too.

    Thanks for some Monday fun, Wendy!

  12. I might just have to bookmark this post so I can hop over and gaze at your eye candy on a regular basis. Especially Orlando and Johnny. (Of course, my daughter says I'm too old to think Orlando's hot...ah, but what does she know anyway.)

  13. You have great choices for eye candy. I agree!

  14. I think I was a freshman in college when Grease came out in theaters. When my son watched it in late elementary or early middle school, I was surprised out how racy it was - I didn't remember that part at all.

  15. This came out while I was in high school and I loved it! I hadn't seen it in years and, during the 90s, when it was being shown at a large theater nearby, my husband was so nice as to take me on a date to see this on the big screen. He's a great guy!

  16. Being a part of the muical theatre department in high school, Grease was a way of life. We put on our rendition of this American classic (and sold out all three weekends of shows) when I was in tenth grade (spring of '90). It was a battle to the finish between me and the girl who ended up getting the role of Sandy, but I sang my heart out from back stage as the radio voice on "It's Raining On Prom Night" and wore my poodle skirt with pride in the ensemble for the rest of the show. I love love love Olivia Newton-John and saw her in concert in 2004 in Tunica, MS at one of the casino hotels. She did all her tunes from Grease and Xanadu! Didn't sign any autographs though. *hmph*

  17. Wendy, I love your Grease story. Your eye candy isn't bad either;-)

  18. Oh, how I loved your blast from the past story!! Grease is one of my ultimate favorites too! What could be better than John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John? I wish I could someday see the musical that would be so awesome!!

    As for your eye candy-Wowsers!! Loved them all, especially Orlando!

  19. Good job of sneaking in our LOST hotties. :)

  20. Viggo seems like a hot pick! And of course I'm not surprised at all. :P

  21. Ahem, yes yes and yes! all those hotties make my list too!

  22. Ggoing hysterical now: AAAAAAHHHH!!

    Viggo Mortenson! Johnny Depp!


  23. Yes, I know I am way late to response to this post --- but I just want to say I LOVE Grease with John and Olivia in it. I remember I saw the movie the first time in the drive-in theater. But didn't see it to the end, b/c older brother got in trouble and was kick out LOL! But lucky I gotten to see the whole thing on TV! And everytime I see it, I sing along - loud LOL! Nice to see that you had great time though :)

    All the men you listed here are great! I agree with all of them except for for one. But don't forget Hugh Jackman :)

  24. I'm glad you had such a fun time at Grease. And it sounds like you had no problem getting there early this time. :)
    Thanks for the eye candy! :P

  25. Debi - LOL They are easy on the eyes, aren't they? As long as their legal, you're never too old to think someone's hot. :-)

    Nicole - Thanks! I can't believe how embarrassed I feel about posting a list like that. I'm still blushing.

    Kathy - I had no idea until years later how racy it was either. I noticed that in the stage performance, one of the songs lyrics was altered slightly to make it more clean for a younger crowd.

    Terri - I would have loved to seen Grease on the big screen. Your husband is a wonderful man to do that for you. I was still too young yet when it first came out.

    Karen - That is so neat that you got to perform in Grease at your high school. Why didn't my high school ever put this one on is what I want to know! I still haven't seen Xanadu, can you believe it? I need to remedy that.

    Anonymous - Thank you! It was the beginning of a great friendship. :-)

    Staci - I was worried I would have too high of expectations because John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John weren't in it, and so I made sure to listen to the stage production soundtrack over and over again the week before. It worked! Or maybe it didn't really matter in the end. I thought everyone in the show did a great job.

    Amy - I couldn't help sneaking them in. :-)

    Melody - Haha! I couldn't leave him out. :-)

    Serena - I could have continued adding to it but it was getting late.

    Alice - LOL I know just how you feel!

    Julia - Oh! That would have been the best--seeing it at the drive in. Did you give your brother trouble for getting you both kicked out before the end?

    Yes, Hugh Jackman is good on the eyes as well. I can't believe I forgot him.

    Nat - Haha! We did make it on time this time. Hubby made sure we left plenty early. :-)

  26. Sheri - Thank you for doing that for me, Sheri. You beat me to it!

    Jen - Grease is irresistible. :-)

    I left out quite a few great guys, didn't I? Most of them I thought of after I'd already posted this.

    Caspette - I thought so too! That's funny.

    I should have put Hugh Jackman in, you're right. :-) I can't wait to see his new movie.

    Sandy - That's true! I hadn't thought of that, but you do share a name with the main star. :-) I bet that it drives you crazy sometimes to have people do that. I get teased like that too--only about hamburgers and the weather.

    I worried about not being able to handle different performers in the roles too, but it turned out to be okay. The one I missed most surprised me: Stockard Channing as Rizzo. I hadn't realized just how much of an impression she'd made on me until we saw the stage performance.

    Viggo made quite a few lists didn't he?

    Beth - No, you certainly can't!

    Les - It got the week off to a great start. LOL

    Shelley - It does for me too. I grew up watching Grease.

    Natsthename - Haha! Yes, he is!

    Carrie K. - Yes, that's kind of what I was thinking when I added him. Shh, don't tell! It's a movie meme.

    Charley - I know exactly what you mean, especially in regards to Orlando Bloom. He's a good looking man in general, but when he really is something special as Legolas.

    Bumbles - I didn't dare leave out Johnny Depp. :-) You couldn't really list everyone though. It would've been too long of a list.

    Florinda - The movie is timeless in my opinion. I haven't watched it since seeing the stage production, but I am tempted.

  27. I loved hearing about your Grease experience! I haven't seen the stage production, but if it ever comes to Dallas I'll be sure to go see it. We have a pretty decent line-up this summer, so hopefully I can find a date to make some of them (hubby will go, but he doesn't love it).

    Agree with your eye candy--Jeffrey Dean Morgan, whew! :)

  28. Trish - I hope you get a chance to see it performed live, Trish! Let me know what you go and see if you do go to the theater this summer. I'd love to know!

  29. I could never ever watch a stage version or remake of the original Grease film ;) It was my fav movie when I was about 10 and I had a HUGE crush on Travolta! What a disappointment to see him in Saturday Night Fever after that (I was actually shocked LOL). So I guess I was more in love with the character he played than with Travolta himself ;)


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