Grease Cast Recording
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|3. Summer Nights|
|4. Those Magic Changes|
|5. Freddy, My Love|
|6. Greased Lightnin'|
|7. Rydell Fight Song|
|9. Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee|
|10. We Go Together|
|11. Shaking at the High School Hop|
|12. It's Raining on Prom Night|
|13. Born to Hand-Jive|
|14. Hopelessly Devoted to You|
|15. Beauty School Dropout|
|17. Rock 'n' Roll Party Queen|
|18. There Are Worse Things I Could Do|
|19. Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee (reprise)|
|20. You're the One That I Want|
See all 21 tracks on this disc
America spoke, and in the end, Laura Osnes and Max Crumm were voted in as the leads for the new revival of Grease that opened on Broadway in August 2007, five months after the close of the casting call/reality show, Grease: You're the One that I Want! Fortunately, "Small Town Sandy" and "Slacker Danny" prove that America did make the right choice, especially for their fans who remember them singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "Sandy" during the competition with the runners-up (would-have-been-acceptable Ashley Spencer and talented-but-charmless Austin Miller). The irony with a cast recording, though, is that picking the leads is a bit of much ado about nothing since Grease gives so many of its big songs to the ensemble, all of whom are solid here: "Those Magic Changes" (sung by Ryan Patrick Binder as Doody), "Freddy, My Love" (Robyn Hurder as Marty), "Greased Lightnin'" (Matthew Saldivar as Kenickie), "Mooning" (Daniel Everidge and Lindsay Mendez as Roger and Jan), "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" and "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" (Jenny Powers as Rizzo), and "Beauty School Dropout" (Stephen R. Buntrock as Teen Angel). The question for cast-recording enthusiasts who didn't watch the reality show is, "Do I need another Grease?", just as the earlier question might have been, "Does Broadway need another Grease?", only a dozen years after the last revival. Grease: You're the One that I Want! was never really about what Broadway needed, of course--it was about what NBC needed to attract its Sunday-primetime audience, and that was a perennially popular musical with an iconic film and even a hit Disney Channel version (High School Musical). Compared to the 1972 original Broadway cast, the 1978 movie soundtrack, and the 1994-95 revival, this recording provides the best mix of songs from the stage and screen, and even if it's not essential, it's enjoyable and should hold up to repeat listenings. --David Horiuchi
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sadly, it's apparent in this new cast recording. Chris Jahnke's orchestrations play it safe, with perhaps a few exceptions. 'Those Magic Changes' nicely homages that 60's beach party ballad reminiscent of the Beach Boys or Jan & Dean, complete with bongos and vocal oohs. 'You're the One That I Want' is probably the only track that has the necessary energy with its new rockabilly arrangement, but it comes at the end of the show--coming alive a little too late. 'Summer Nights' is oddly boring and could have been recorded by any of the countless regional/amateur theatre groups who have put "Grease" on. Even the show's signature ballad 'There Are Worse Things I Can Do' is unimaginatively rendered by Jenny Powers' Rizzo.
If you're an avid fan of "Grease" then this is obviously for you. Yet it's one recording you'll hardly go back to for repeat visits. And why should you? The original 1972 Broadway cast recording is definitely a treasure. The 1978 film version stands on its own merits and the 1994 Broadway revival is probably the most definitive with its daring arrangements and tenacity. (Okay, we won't put the 1993 London revival in the same league, with its synthesized orchestrations and lazy performances). This new revival is solid, I'll give it that. But it's nothing to write home about.
For a fan of GREASE there are things I can really dig about this, but ultimately I am happy that I won this CD and did not have to pay for this. Danny's voice is not as strong as I would have wanted it to be. In fact, I really felt that his singing is more soft than I would have expected. Then the Sandy is not as innocent sounding as I would like her to be at the beginning. They are good at finding the pitches, but he characters do not seem to come through in their voices. I also have qualms with the Rizzo. Her voice is deeper and happier than expected. However, she is much better than Rosie in the role.
Adding music from the film seemed like a good idea as well, but the only piece that seems to fit is "Sandy." The theme is awkward at best. I would have preferred the "Teen Angel" to sing the songs as a way to open the versus the Company, especially since the lines didn't seem to match some of the characters' personae. Also, with Sandy singing her part in "Raining on Prom Night" the song "Hopelessly Devoted to You" serves no purpose. It gives the same information. I know it's a fan favorite, but does GREASE really need to suffer from additional length?
In conclusion, to hear a change from the film cast is positive, as that is the cast most people know. However, unless you are a die hard fan of the show or who won the reality show, just stick to your current favorite recording of GREASE. This one really doesn't do much.
Crumm and Osnes headline a cast of virtual unknowns; including Ryan Patrick Binder, Lindsay Mendez, Jeb Brown, and Stephen Buntrock. Jenny Powers is particularly strong as Rizzo; a great singer who brings out the vulnerability in this supposedly "Bad Girl." Christopher Jahnke's orchestrations are very good, almost excellent; if a bit too fast at times. "Greased Lightening", which gets some sanitized lyrics here, seems particularly rushed. The cast, however, gives Barry Gibb's title song from the 1978 film version a strong and deep interpretation.
A reviewer for "Entertainment Weekly" magazine suggested there is nothing new at Rydell High School in director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall's 2007 Revival. But the cast has enough energy and vitality to carry you along. That energy/enthusiasm is evidenced in the video of the recording session on Amazon. The fun video on Amazon, by the way, convinced me to buy the CD. Of course, you may still wonder: Does the world need yet ANOTHER production/recording of "GREASE?" After all, the last Broadway revival was still very recent, in 1994, featuring Sam Harris, Susan Wood, and (ugh!) Rosie O'Donnell. It seems that every decade or so, there is a NEW production of GREASE. Is there a high school, college, or community theatre that HAS NOT done this show?! I saw it in Seattle, with Erik Estrada no less(!) and most recently, a 2005 touring company. I had a fun, wonderful time. No, the world does not need another production of "GREASE", but it's fun, and if you're a fan of this show; whether it be the 1972 Original Broadway Cast, 1978 film version, 1994 Revival, or one of the other countless productions, you'll still want to pick up this 2007 Recording. Each version has its own strengths and weaknesses. Crumm, Osnes, and the exuberant, youthful cast aim to entertain, and they succeed. As an added bonus, the complete lyrics are included inside the CD booklet.