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Happy Birthday, Grease! 37 Fun Facts About Rydell High

first_imgSandy, Danny and the Rydell High gang are turning 37 today! The smash-hit movie Grease was released June 16, 1978, starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing and Jeff Conaway as the coolest high schoolers in history. Filmed on a shoestring budget, the movie adapted from the hit Broadway musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey went on to become the highest-grossing movie musical ever. Isn’t it the most, to say the least? Check out these 37 automatic, systematic, hydromatic facts all about our pals at Rydell High.1. The 1978 film was based on the 1972 Broadway musical of the same name, which originally ran for 3,388 performances and has since been revived twice.2. Several changes were made for the big-screen adaptation—the “Burger Palace Boys,” as the greasers were called in the Broadway show, were changed to the much catchier “T-Birds” in the movie.3. Originally, producers had the idea to make Grease an animated movie—they settled on a live-action film with animated opening credits instead.4. Four Grease film stars also appeared in the Broadway production: John Travolta (Doody on Broadway and Danny in the movie), Jeff Conaway (Danny on Broadway and Kenickie in the movie), Barry Pearl (Sonny on Broadway and Doody in the movie) and Jamie Donnelly (Jan on Broadway and in the movie).5. The majority of the cast hadn’t seen the inside of a high school in quite a while: John Travolta was 23 at the time of filming, Olivia Newton-John was 28 and Stockard Channing was 33.6. Frankie Valli sang the film’s title song “Grease,” which plays during the opening credits.7. Henry Winkler was considered for the part of Danny but he turned it down because he didn’t want to be typecast after starring on Happy Days.8. Susan Dey (The Partridge Family) and Deborah Raffin (7th Heaven) were both considered for the role of Sandy.9. John Travolta was initially star struck by singer Olivia Newton-John—he went to her house to convince her to co-star in the movie and was very impressed that she had a pool.10. To capitalize on Olivia Newton-John’s popularity, the film’s creators opted to keep her Australian accent and change Sandy’s last name from Dumbrowski to Olsen.11. Elvis was originally offered the role of Teen Angel, but he turned it down. It was played by Frankie Avalon in the movie.12. Another Elvis connection: In the play, “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” had a reference to Sal Mineo, but he was murdered in 1976, so the reference was changed to Elvis for the film. Elvis died on August 16, 1977, the same day the scene was filmed.13. Dinah Manoff, who played Marty, couldn’t dance, so she was conveniently missing from most of the dance scenes.14. Lucie Arnaz was the studio’s original choice for Rizzo, but her mother Lucille Ball refused to let her do a screen test.15. Gerald Ford’s son Steven was initially cast as Sandy’s jock boyfriend Tom, but even though the part had no lines, he decided he was too nervous. The role went to Lorenzo Lamas instead.16. During the movie’s shoot, the cast reportedly chewed 100,000 pieces of bubble gum.17. “You’re the One that I Want” was filmed at a traveling carnival that was only in town for the day. Portions of the carnival had to be re-created later for close-up shots.18. The hickeys on Rizzo’s neck in the diner scene were authentic, given to Stockard Channing by Jeff Conaway, who played Kenickie. Talk about method acting!19. The song “Greased Lighting” was originally supposed to be sung by Jeff Conaway, but John Travolta convinced producers to let him sing it instead.20. In Mexico and Venezuela, Grease was released under the name Vaselina.21. John Travolta was disappointed when the last shot of the song “Sandy” ended with a cartoon hot dog jumping into a bun. “He wanted a close-up [on him],” director Robert Kleiser told The New York Post. “But that hot dog was fantastic. I didn’t want to shoot the close-up because I loved the hot dog. That was a battle, but I won.”22. The movie soundtrack had two number-one singles: “Grease” and “You’re the One That I Want.”23. Although he was taller than John Travolta, Jeff Conaway slouched when he was filmed with the star so he would appear taller.24. Most of the dancers had character names like Sauce, Trix, Cee Cee, Woppo and Bubba, even though they were never used in the movie.25. It was 116 degrees during the filming of the Rydell prom scene, which took two weeks to film in downtown Los Angeles. Several extras were treated for heat-related illnesses.26. In the final carnival scene, Eddie Deezen, who played Eugene, was filmed on a spinning ride. Afterwards, he got sick and threw up in the middle of the carnival lot.27. Annette Charles (Cha Cha), who had been in the hospital undergoing tests for pain, checked herself out to film the drag race scene. That night, she was rushed into surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.28. Sandy’s pants in “You’re the One That I Want” really belonged to Olivia Newton-John—they were 25 years old and she had to be sewn into them when her zipper broke.29. The producers had hoped for a product placement deal with Coke, but it fell through. There are several shots of Coca-Cola products and signs in the scenes taking place in the Frosty Palace that have been blurred out or digitally removed.30. After the success of the movie, Paramount had plans for a Grease franchise, featuring three more movies and a TV series. But when Grease 2 flopped in 1982, these plans were put on hold.31. The writers of Grease were inspired to write the song “Beauty School Dropout” after seeing a news story about a teenage murderer who had recently dropped out of beauty school.32. Kleiser originally wanted to direct the song “It’s Raining on Prom Night” as a Singin’ in the Rain-esque sequence with Sandy, but that was vetoed in favor of a new ballad, “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”33. The actors behaved almost like real high-school students on set. “We were so bad,” Susan Buckner, who played Patty Simcox, told People. “Almost everybody would come in two, three hours late. They had to bring us all in and give us a lecture.”34. Jamie Donnelly had prematurely grey hair, so she had to dye it black to play Jan.35. Jeff Conway (Kenickie), later married Rona Newton-John, Olivia’s sister.36. Grease 2 had double the budget ($13 million) of the original film but only earned $15 million at the box office.37. Grease only cost $6 million to make, but has taken in $400 million internationally to date, making it the highest-grossing movie musical of all time. View Commentslast_img read more

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Odds & Ends: Phillipa Soo’s Next Eliza Project & More

first_img Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Phillipa Soo’s Next Eliza Hamilton ProjectHamilton’s Phillipa Soo is non-stop! The 2016 Tony nominee and future Amélie, who as we all know by now originated the role of Eliza in the Tony-winning tuner, will contribute a foreword to a new children’s picture book biography about her. “I have lived and breathed Eliza’s story for the past two years,” said Soo in a statement. “I could not be more thrilled to be included in her narrative for young readers.” Margaret McNamara’s Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton will be published in 2017 by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.Juliet Stevenson & Lia Williams Switch It UpTwo queens. One in power. One in prison. It’s all in the execution. Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly, Deeply) and Tony nominee Lia Williams (Skylight) will trade the central roles of Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, decided at each performance by the toss of a coin, in Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart at London’s prestigious Almeida Theatre. Adapted and directed by Robert Icke, the production is scheduled to play a limited engagement December 2 through January 21, 2017. Opening night is set for December 9.Emma Watson’s Cursed Child VisitEmma Watson went to see the West End’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, starring Noma Dumezweni as Hermione, and what she had to say about it was everything. “Some things about the play were, I think, possibly even more beautiful than the films,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Meeting Noma and seeing her on stage was like meeting my older self and have her tell me everything was going to be alright, which as you can imagine was immensely comforting (and emotional)! The cast and crew welcomed me like I was family and Noma was everything I could ever hope she would be.” The play is currently in previews at the Palace Theatre, with the opening gala scheduled for July 30. If you fear you won’t be seeing the show anytime soon, the official script will be published on July 31. #KeepTheSecrets View Comments Phillipa Soo(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Phillipa Soo Star Fileslast_img read more

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Rupiah at 1998 crisis level pressures reserves, foreign-denominated debt

first_imgAs of 4:59 p.m. in Jakarta on Friday, the rupiah had weakened more than 15 percent against the US dollar this year. It broke the Rp 16,000 mark during the day, a level unseen since the 1998 crisis. The benchmark stock index, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), has lost a third of its value this year.As of Thursday, a Rp 105.1 trillion capital outflow had been recorded this year as foreign investors dumped Rp 92.8 trillion worth of government bonds and Rp 8.3 trillion in stocks, BI data shows.“Our foreign exchange reserves are more than enough,” Perry said when asked about the impact of the market rout on the central bank’s dollar reserves. At $130.4 billion in February, Indonesia’s dollar reserves represent 7.7 months of imports, well above the 3-month international adequacy standard.Bahana Sekuritas economist Satria Sambijantoro said the potential rebound of the rupiah would depend on the government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The rupiah breached Rp 16,000 against the US dollar on Friday, the weakest since the 1998 crisis, taking its toll on central bank reserves, corporate debt obligations and import-reliant industries as the COVID-19 pandemic prompts an Indonesian asset selloff.Bank Indonesia (BI) Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Friday that the central bank had spent Rp 163 trillion (US$10.1 billion) to buy government bonds in the secondary market to stabilize the rupiah as foreign investors exited the market.“The stabilization efforts that we’ve taken focus on providing a supply of dollars, which we will continue doing through intervention […],” Perry told a teleconferenced press briefing, referring to the central bank’s bond buying and intervention in spot and non-deliverable forward markets. “We think most of the rupiah’s weakness was driven by psychological – not fundamental – factors due to the ‘two-tier pricing’ in the forex market that discourages exporters and bonds investors from holding on to their rupiah-denominated assets, fearing further depreciation,” he wrote.The government has pledged to allocate Rp 120 trillion (US$7.5 billion) from the 2020 state budget to stimulate the economy, which may grow at the lowest level in 15 years, just above 4 percent, Finance Minsiter Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said the weakening of the rupiah against the US dollar could also impact state firms’ debts, including flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.“We have been negotiating regarding the airline’s [condition] for more than a month,” Erick said in a teleconferenced press briefing on Friday. Garuda may need to restructure its foreign-denominated debts as it has struggled to pay its obligations as the pandemic hits the travel industry hard, he added.Garuda Indonesia issued US$496.8 million in global sukuk (sharia-compliant financial assets) on June 3, 2015. They are due to mature on June 3 with an annual return of 5.95 percent, according to the company’s financial report released in September of last year.For import-reliant producers, the rupiah depreciation would increase costs in a sector already hit by supply chain shocks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.“If manufacturers want to keep their products competitive in the market, they have to pick a factor of their costs that they can cut, which is their workforce,” said Indef Center of Industry, Trade and Investment researcher Andry Satrio Nugroho.Andry predicted that the factory activity benchmark, the IHS Markit Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), would fall drastically in March. The index managed to climb to expansion for the first time since June at 51.9 in February. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, and one below 50 indicates contraction.“We have to finish the virus problems first, and then industries can catch up, just like what China is doing right now,” said Andry, adding that the recent stimulus should focus on healthcare instead.Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Kadin) vice chairman for industrial affairs Johnny Darmawan said on Thursday that the depreciating rupiah would be a further drag on already sluggish business activities due to social distancing measures taken by consumers and enterprises.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Sunday urged Indonesians to practice social distancing, a public health measure to slow the transmission of an infectious disease by staying 1 meter away from other people in the case of COVID-19. It involves “working from home, studying from home and praying from home”, the President said.“Production has declined because of social distancing measures to slow down the coronavirus. Business has already been lethargic,” said Johnny.Manufacturing industry players have complained about the disruption in the supply of raw materials as measures to contain COVID-19 bind factory production across Indonesia. Between 20 and 50 percent of raw materials for domestic industry are sourced from China, Indonesia’s biggest trade partner.The government previously announced two rounds of stimulus packages including a package worth Rp 22.9 trillion that includes individual and corporate tax breaks. The first package, worth Rp 10.3 trillion and announced on Feb. 25, provides for staple needs and mortgage subsidies for low-income families and fiscal incentives for travel-related businesses.Indonesia had 369 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 32 deaths as of Friday. Globally, the pneumonia-like illness has infected over 240,000 people and has claimed at least 10,000 lives. (mpr)Topics :last_img read more

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