EXCLUSIVE: "GREASE 2" 35th Anniversary Celebration - Photos and Video!
Director: Patricia Birch
Screenplay: Ken Finkleman
Starring: Maxwell Caulfield, Michelle Pfeiffer, Adrian Zmed, Lorna Luft, Maureen Teefy, Alison Price Becker, Christopher McDonald, Leif Green, Peter Frechette, Didi Conn, Connie Stevens, Tab Hunter, Eve Arden
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Released: June 11, 1982
Photo: Paramount Pictures
They said they'll be together forever and here they are 35 years later celebrating GREASE 2.
(L-R): Adrian Zmed, Leif Green, Maureen Teefy, Alison Price Becker, Maxwell Caulfield, director Patricia Birch, Jean Sagal, Christopher McDonald, Liz Sagal
On the evening of March 12, 2018, no amount of rain could damper the genuine warmth, palpable excitement, comforting nostalgia and electrifying feeling coursing through a little part of Beverly Hills, California. A class reunion, which has been in the works for close to six months, was about to take place as the cast and director of GREASE 2 gathered for a special anniversary screening of their film at the Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts Theatre. To celebrate the film's 35th anniversary, director and devout fan Brian Herzlinger organized a fan screening of the film which would not only be presented on a pristine archive 35mm film print, courtesy of Paramount Pictures, but would also feature a Q&A with cast members and the director of the film. In attendance were Maxwell Caulfield (Michael Carrington), Adrian Zmed (T-Bird Johnny Nogerelli), Christopher McDonald (T-Bird Goose), Leif Green (T-Bird Davey), Maureen Teefy (Pink Lady Sharon), Alison Price Becker (Pink Lady Rhonda), Liz & Jean Sagal (Stacie & Gracie, The Cheerleader Twins) and director Patricia Birch, who also served as choreographer on both films.
BRIAN'S ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER FOR THE ANNIVERSARY SCREENING (2:56)
As Brian's 2004 documentary MY DATE WITH DREW proved, he was the ideal dreamer to bring this event to fruition. While at a film appreciation series at Ithaca College in New York, a conversation between actor Christopher McDonald and Brian would eventually lead to this night. While Brian and his team put together the particulars such as the theatre location and print availability, McDonald reached out to his fellow cast mates to see who would be able to come out for the celebration. Over the ensuing months everything was falling into place and once the event was announced in mid-February it sold out within a week. Fans took to social media to express their excitement for the event and their love for the film and those who made it.
GREASE 2, released in 1982, was the follow-up to, at the time, the highest grossing musical of all-time at the domestic box office, unadjusted. Dismissed as a bomb since it only grossed one-tenth of the original film's initial gross, the film did find lasting success over the years as it was discovered on cable, VHS, DVD and once again back on cable. Despite its reputation the vast majority of its fans consider it to be better than the original starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
The fans fortunate enough to acquire tickets for the screening, which were free, didn't hide their love for the film as they applauded after musical numbers, quoted along and sang along with abject glee and infectious enjoyment. For many this was their first time experiencing the film on the big screen, including Pink Lady Sharon herself Maureen Teefy, and the pristine 35mm presentation did not disappoint as the film likely looked just as good as it did when it first opened in June 1982. The fans couldn't wait to see the film and its cast but the cast seemed eager to experience the film with the fans. As previously mentioned Christopher McDonald was instrumental in getting the cast together. Maxwell Caulfield, on his day off from the stage, flew in from New York City just for the screening. Maureen Teefy wasn't on the announced guest list yet here she was. Adrian Zmed had to catch a flight later that evening yet here he was. The fun atmosphere didn't go unnoticed by the event's illustrious guests and was cited as one of the reasons that made the night so special. It's safe to say everyone scored that night.
Lorna Luft, who is great as Pink Lady Paulette, was very much on everyone's mind this evening and I would like to extend my own personal well wishes and all my best for her.
Below you will find photos from the reception and the screening as well as video from the reception, Brian's introduction and the full Q&A which was very enlightening and entertaining.
I'll be posting my retro film review of GREASE 2 in the coming days. Stay tuned!
Of note for the fans, Paramount Home Video will be releasing GREASE 2 on blu-ray for the first time and it will be part of the GREASE 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION which will be released on April 24th.
Photos: Ernie Trinidad Memorabilia Photos courtesy of Leif Green and John Wood
THE RECEPTION AND FILM INTRODUCTION BY BRIAN HERZLINGER (12:52)
Filmed and edited by Ernie Trinidad
THE FULL Q&A FOLLOWING THE SCREENING (50:13)
Filmed and edited by Ernie Trinidad