This was a televised version of the "Grease" premiere party at the Graumann's Chinese Theater. This special featured all the major stars of the movies, musical clips from the movie, fabulous 70's stars arriving (Chevy Chase, Penny Marshall, Leif Garrett, et al), interviews and a live musical performance from Frankie Valli ("Grease"). This special also featured two musical performances NOT from the movie - Andy Gibb & The Spinners.Written by
TV used to be littered with disposable TV specials, most of which have been completely forgotten today - and this one would've been no exception if not for the enduring popularity of "Grease." Shot at the film's Graumann's Chinese Theater premiere, there's a spectacle of stars with 10 seconds of screen time... and an inordinate amount of artists performing thoroughly-unrelated disco songs. The way it's edited (jumping back and forth with little chronology), it's hard to discern precisely what's going on, but after the premiere there was a huge after-party at the Paramount lot where the musical acts took to the stage for the guests and cameras.
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John each have slight interviews, Dody Goodman and Eve Arden have a short skit, a few other cast/crew members of the film are briefly glimpsed, clips of "Summer Nights" and "Sandy" are previewed, and Frankie Valli performs the movie's title track. However, most of the special feels like an infomercial for producer Robert Stigwood's RSO Records, with then-timely hit disco songs performed live and playing endlessly throughout. Comedians Elayne Boosler and John Byner each perform brief sets; stars like Alice Cooper, Lief Garrett and Jodie Foster introduce the musical acts; and there's a parade of stars arriving at the premiere (overdubbed by The Village People).
Apparently this hour-long special was lopped down to 30 minutes for a 2002 rerun on VH1, and bookended with a new intro/outro of Olivia Newton-John. Music claims prevent the special from being viewed in its entirety on You Tube (it's been uploaded but the sound's been muted). Generally, I gripe when something like this is omitted from home media releases, but the bulk of this special is so completely irrelevant to the movie that it's an understandable oversight - the pair of interviews did make it to the blu-ray but Valli's performance, which featured all of the main dancers from the film, is notably (and frustratingly) absent. However, that performance has been on You Tube for years, so unless you're a hardcore fan of the movie or the disco singers (Debby Boone, Andy Gibb, Yvonne Elliman, Linda Clifford, The O'Jays), there's really not much reason to seek the full special.
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