I couldn't resist, but put this Midi of 'Look at Me I'm SandraDee' here that I found at Laura's MIDI Heaven!!! : ) Lucy did so GREAT as Rizzo and has such a WONDERFUL voice!!!
The Broadway Play Grease is Now showing at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre
in NYC. Lucy Lawless was a guest on the Rosie O'Donell Show in which she
sang a song and told of her admiration of the role of Rizzo. Someone in
connection with the play saw this show and gave Lucy the job. Not much
later, there was an Online article which said that the play would be
closing prior to Lucy's Premiere. Lucy's "Star Status" was brought into
question and the fact that she is a foreigner caused concern with the
actor's Union. It was FINALLY agreed that Lucy would have place on
Broadway from Sept. 2 to Oct. 19, 1997. After which it was agreed that
the play would close (according to a People Magazine article), but with
the resurgence of attendance during Lucy's run...The Next Rizzo is going
to be Linda Blair (best known for her role in the movie: The Exorcist).
Heaven Help Us!!!
The movie Grease has been a favorite in my family for many years!!!
I was not sure what to expect, so I used the movie as my guide as to how
the play would be performed. In this report I hope to relay my Broadway
Grease Experience and I'll make many comparisons to the movie Grease and
how the play was performed.
I had read many posts on the internet prior to Lucy Lawless' appearance
in the play Grease and was getting excited with the prospects that I might
be able to see my favorite Television star in person!!! I checked
Ticketmaster Online and found Eugene O'Neill's website which had a seating
chart, dates and times of the show and phone number in which to call to
order tickets or order online. I phoned and ordered 4 tickets for Tuesday,
Oct. 7 '97 and was lucky to get front row seats!!! This was surprising to
me where my E-mail penpal Sandra(aka Kansas) was going the day before and
the best she could do was get 3rd row seats.
My Mom, my younger sister Jillian, my friend Pat from work, and I were
driven to NYC in a Lincoln Town Car driven by Our own Chauffeur!!! This
worked out better than taking the train!!! From several posts that I read
on the internet, they said that if you are able to get there early, that you
should stand outside the stage door in the chance that you might be able to
get Lucy's autograph as she makes her way to the stage entrance. They also
mentioned that she didn't come outside during days that had matinees and
that she usually signs as many autographs as she can on the way into and out
of the building, so I was very hopeful that I would be able to get one!!!
We got there a little early, so I joined in the vigil to wait for Lucy.
While I waited for about 2 hours, I made some new friends!!! Talking with
Wendy, Alice, Terry and her daughter Kathy made the long wait go by quicker.
When Lucy FINALLY CAME...I held my picture out as far as I could. Just as
she was about to take my picture, she turned around and went to the line on
the other side. She turned around again and was already past me in line...I
was so EXCITED to actually see HER, but was WORRIED that I wasn't going to
get her autograph!!! She looked back at me and took my picture. As she was
signing it, I said, "THANKYOU LUCY"!!! She said in her BEAUTIFUL kiwi
accent, "It's My Pleasure" and smiled at me!!! I was ELATED!!!
From what I've read on the Internet, Lucy is always in a rush and does
not sign very much...just a quick initial or squiggle and doesn't usually
say much, if anything. I was so GLAD that she took the moment to talk to
me!!! She also said to us, "You all have an added treat as Renee will be
here tonight". Renee O'Connor is SO GREAT as Gabrielle, so I was happy to
think that I might be able to see her there too!!! I got pushed around so
much that I felt like I was getting smothered, so I HAD to get out of there.
I NOW wish I had stayed where Renee and Sandra Wilson(Renee's mom aka
MommaROC) came about 10 minutes later.
We were ALL EXCITED because we had front row, center stage seats!!!
The character, DJ Vince Fontaine was on stage when we went inside and he
did a GREAT job of getting the crowd warmed up prior to the play!!! When
Vince was calling for volunteer dancers from the audience for a Big Dance
contest...I went RIGHT up there!!! I'm usually afraid to go up in front of
people like that, but call it a high from meeting Lucy, or the fact that I
was just SO EXCITED to actually BE THERE that I couldn't stay in my seat
even if I wanted too!!! The winners were 2 twin girls and a young boy and
they each received a Grease T-shirt.
A school bell rang and the Principal, Miss Lynch came down the isle
and started instructing the audience as how to behave. She said that we
were all former Rydell High students and would choose different "students"
to scold. "What? You're chewing gum? Do you have enough for the rest of
us?" After she was on stage, a couple came in late...to this she replied,
"What? You don't know how to tell time yet? The big hand on the 12, the
little hand on the 8". She was so funny!!! She then called the students
(cast) together to sing in a choir. They sang a watered down version of
"We Go Together". I almost didn't recognize Lucy at first as they were
standing behind a wall with only holes cut out for them to put their faces
through. The outline for each student was of the cap and gown of
graduation. After the 'choir' number, the wall was taken away and they
sang "We Go Together" as they introduced themselves.
The crowd CHEERED as Lucy introduced herself as Rizzo!!! They then
went to the scene at the school cafeteria where both groups gather around
to talk about their summer and sang, "Summer Nights". Sandy was not from
Australia, just a new neighbor. Some of the lines were switched around,
but not too much. When Danny and Sandy first met, Danny talked in a high
squeaky voice, then just said, "I got to go baby" and left. They left out
some of my sister's favorite lines about like him "having a twin and
looking him up in the yellow pages".
They then went to the scene where Doody was TRYING to learn the guitar,
but was having Great difficulty in getting the notes right. Then he
started singing "Those Magic Changes" during which everyone danced in the
background. One thing that I was TRULY IMPRESSED with was Lucy's dancing
through the Whole play!!! I remember her saying in an interview that she
was worried about this where she's not a dancer, but she did WONDERFULLY!!!
The next scene was in Marty's bathroom. In the movie, it was in
Frenchie's bedroom. One of the funniest scenes was when the Pink Ladies
asked Sandy if she wanted to smoke. Frenchie said she got her name from
French inhaling and to this, Lucy said "Yeah Right" and wagged her tongue.
Everyone laughed!!! Frenchie said, "No. This is how I do it". She blew
out smoke and tried to breathe it all back in through her nose. Then, Lucy
pulled out a wine bottle and said, "Let's get a Sneaky Peek to get the party
going". She took a long drink of wine and burped. They said, "Rudy of the
Capree Lounge told them that that's what you have to do to keep from getting
air bubbles". Everyone laughed when Sandy took the bottle from Lucy and
Quickly wiped the bottle off with her night gown!!! She then drank almost a
half of bottle of wine in one breath and burped when the bottle was empty.
Another small difference from the movie was that Jan wouldn't let
Frenchie pierce her ears, but in the play, she tried to convince Sandy by
saying, "see what a good job Frenchie did to mine." It of course didn't go
well and Sandy became sick and ran off. Marty sang "Freddy My Love", but
they didn't sing "Look At Me I'm Sandra Dee" during this scene as they did
in the movie, that came later.
The Next scene was of the guys stealing hubcaps, only to find out that
they came from Kinickie's 'new' car. The front part of a car came out on
stage and practically blinded me as the headlights shown right in my eyes.
They sang "Greased Lightnin" and to my SURPRISE Lucy came out wearing the
leather outfit from the Grease promotional poster!!! Everyone Cheered!!!
She said, "What the HELL is THAT"!?! Kinickie told her that, "A LOT of
chicks were going to go crazy for his car when it's fixed up". Lucy said,
"Yeah, and I'm 1 of them." They started kissing. Then Lucy sang "Greased
Lightnin"!!! What a voice!!! It was Quite a treat and I didn't expect
Lucy to be singing this song. In the movie it was only the guys.
In the next scene, Sandy was practicing her cheerleading techniques
and was having a hard time with her splits and some of the cheers. Danny
said hi to her and said. "what's wrong with your ear"? To this Sandy
turned to reveal a bandage about the size of her head covering her ear.
Everyone Laughed!!! He was trying to apologize for how he treated her
earlier when the other cheerleaders came in and Patty Simcox fell face
first down the bleachers. Very Funny!!!
Later, Kinickie and Lucy came from 'behind the bleachers' and Jan was
telling Roger (a.k.a. Rump) how she wished she had been there when he
mooned a teacher. He said he wished she was there too and started singing
"Mooning". I forgot to mention it, but in the intro of the characters,
Roger actually mooned the teacher!!! During the song, they had 2 people
behind them acting out the song and that guy mooned the girl too!!! I was
so surprised as I didn't think they'd do this on stage!!!
One of the guys took Sandy out to look for something and Lucy said to
Danny, "Aren't you going to go after them"? He said, "Why? She doesn't
mean anything to me". Then Lucy started singing "Look at Me I'm Sandra
Dee"!!! In the movie, this was in the bedroom scene and Sandy sadly said,
"You're making fun of me Rizz"? Well, in the play...Can you say 'Cat Fight?'
Sandy came running in yelling, "Who do you think you are"!?! She leapt up
and tried to fight with Lucy, but the guys pulled her back. Lucy said
something like, "I don't need this" and stormed off.
Later Sandy was walking with Eugene and they were collecting leaves
for Biology Class. In the movie, Sandy's other love interest was the
football jock, but in the play...Eugene!?! The Pink Ladies and the other
guys were gathered around when Danny took the leaf from Eugene. His
expressions were so PRICELESS!!! They couldn't have picked a better
actor to play Eugene!!! He was SO FUNNY!!! The group started singing
"We Go Together" again and ran in and out of the lockers. Time for
intermission...During which, they played music and some people up on the
second level were dancing. It was Quite hot there and several of the
actors on stage were pouring with sweat, but Lucy seemed to keep her cool.
Now when the curtain went back up, the biggest difference from the
movie happened. In the movie, Danny and Sandy get separated on the on the
dance floor and he wins the contest with Cha-Cha Digregorio. Well, in the
play, Sandy doesn't go to the dance at all. She was at home in her
nightgown singing, "It's Raining On Prom Night". Lucy is asked to go to
the dance by Danny. When they get there Kinickie wants her, but tries to
drop her when he sees Cha-Cha. Cha-Cha wants Eugene who tries for Patty
Simcox, so she is left with Danny. Very Different and Very Funny!!!
The girl who played Cha-Cha was Hilarious!!! Every time she moved,
she would fan her skirt, kick up her heels and go..."Cha-Cha...Cha-Cha!!!
She wouldn't keep still for 1 second...She kept doing that and when she
got into Lucy's face and said, "Cha-Cha...Cha-Cha!!! Lucy came back at her
yelling her XENA war cry!!! The crowd erupted with applause and laughter!!!
In the next scene, Frenchie got a visit from her Teen Angel. The Teen
Angel in the play was no Frankie Avalon!!! He was more like James Brown.
His hair was VERY HIGH!!! Everybody laughed!!! In the movie this scene
happened prior to the dance and her hair was pink. In the play her hair was
the same color as it had been and instead of girls in hairdresser's gowns,
they had guys with tall hair just like the Angel. The Angel involved the
audience by saying..."Should she go back to school? Say YEAH"!!! To this
the audience screamed out YEAH!!!
We then see Danny and Sandy in a car at the drive-in. While they are
kissing, she tells him to stop and he says, "it's not like anybody's
watching". Then they look out into the audience and smile. Everybody
laughed!!! It was very funny when she slammed the car door on Danny. His
face was priceless and he talked in a squeaky high voice.
Later, the whole gang is at a party. Sandy wants to leave and
someone says, "Don't leave yet, the party's just started". Lucy says,
"Yeah, we only invited you because you have the record player". Marty
said to Lucy, "Boy! What's wrong...Do you have your friend?" Lucy
says, "I wish!" and tells her that she might be pregnant. When Kinickie
hears the News, he tries to talk to her, but she says, "it's someone
else's problem, not yours". He looks hurt and storms off.
Everyone tries to console her, but she yells at them to leave. Sandy
says that she's sorry and Lucy interrupts her and says, "I don't need any
preaching from you"! Sandy said, "Did you notice how hurt Kinickie was
when he left here!?!" At this point, Lucy's eyes were filled with tears
and she started singing, "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" to Sandy. To
this, Sandy sang "Look At Me I'm Sandra Dee" and asked for Lucy's help to
change. They smile at each other, realizing that they are not so different
in their differences and form an unlikely friendship.
This is FAR different than the movie!!! In the movie, Rizzo's
possible pregnancy is found out at the drive-in and Kinickie is GLAD
it's not him. She sings the song about him meaning the worse thing she
could do was to cry in front of him, not Sandy. Sandy decides to change
on her own and asks Frenchie for the help, not Rizzo. I think that I like
the play's ending better than the movie's. I like the fact that Sandy and
Rizzo came to an Understanding and became friends...In the movie, it just
seemed they tolerated each other.
In the last scene, Danny is wearing his Letterman sweater. Lucy and
Sandy come in together. Sandy showed her off her new look and says "Tell
me about it...Stud". Danny then sings, "I'm All Choked Up"!!! They then
did a medley of the songs of the play and had a HUGE dance number!!!
Lucy's niece and daughter Daisy were even dressed up as little pink ladies
and on stage for the closing number.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE PLAY!!! Apparently Renee O'Connor, Renee's
boyfriend (from New Zealand), Sandra Wilson (Renee's Mom aka MommaROC),
Rob Tapert(Executive Producer of Xena: Warrior Princess and Lucy's
fiancee), Lucy's parents, and sister were all there, but I didn't see
them. I heard someone say that they all snuck in as the curtain went up
and snuck out before it went down. We went home Happy with the knowledge
that we didn't miss this Once In a Lifetime Performance!!!
Not 1 of my pictures of Lucy came out good due to the pushing of the
crowds. My E-mail penpal Sandra(aka Kansas) was kind enough to send me
some pictures from the night before. I wrote about my experience to my
online mailing list and a Marener(from Maryland) happened to be there the
same night I was and she sent me some pictures of me dancing on stage during
the Big Dance Contest!!! These pictures are a treasure to me as they help
keep the memory alive of the best night I ever had at a play!!!