Meet director Randal Kleiser, director of the 1978 hit film "Grease" during a live Q&A on Thursday, May 22 at Cinèmas Palme D'Or in Palm Desert, Calif. The live Q&A will take place immediately following the 7 pm revival screening of "Grease."
"Grease" was huge blockbuster film in the summer of 1978. It was the most successful first time directed feature film. A great start for Randal Kleiser, graduate of USC Film School. He had directed several television shows and it was on the set of the television movie "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble," that actor John Travolta and director Randal Kleiser met. Travolta had just been offered a three picture deal from Paramount. So impressed with Kleiser, Travolta requested to have Kleiser direct his new film "Grease."
With a wonderful young director on board and a big star, Travolta was on the heels of the mega success of the film "Saturday Night Fever," the film was headed for success as well, but it need the perfect leading lady. Blonde Australian singer Olivia Newton-John had been lighting up the Hot 100 list for a few years and she was cast to play Sandy.
Kleiser was on the helm of transitioning a successful Broadway musical to the film and musicals weren't really in great demand. He decided the film needed a more California vibe and changed the location from Chicago to Southern California. Then he masterfully casted just about the perfect most cast to grace the silver screen.
"Grease" is the most successful musical in domestic receipts, even beating out "The Sound of Music." And it also boasts the most successful soundtrack in film history. So, if you grew up in the 50's or grew up when "Grease" was being shown in theaters over a long hot summer - take some time to reminisce, enjoy the music and just have some fun!
During an interview with Kleiser on KNEWS' The Bill Feingold Show Featuring Kevin Holmes, the director threw down the gauntlet! He told listeners that if they came dressed as their favorite character, he would give them a picture. So, dressing like it's the '50's is definitely appropriate and encouraged.