Grease Is Still The Word

Last week, I attended the 40th anniversary screening of the restored version of Grease on the Paramount lot.  In circumstances far too convoluted to explain, I was part of a small handful of elite VIPs – primarily cast members who were guests of director Randal Kleiser.  After the screening, scores of fans descended onto our group to get autographs and photos.  Twice, people asked if I was in the film.  OK, let’s do the math – the film is celebrating 40 years.  Exactly how old do I look?  Eventually, I told people I was the stand-in for Cha Cha – the best dancer at Saint Bernadette’s!  Aside from that, Miss DiGregorio, how did you like the film?  I loved it.  The restoration work is amazing.  The video has never looked so pristine or vivid, and the audio remastering let me hear bits of background dialogue for the first time.  I wholeheartedly recommend getting the Blu-ray.

One doesn’t often get to meet a childhood crush, but while I was hangin’ with the T-Birds, pal Barry Pearl, who played Doody, introduced me to Kelly Ward, who played the blond Putzie.  The fact that Kelly didn’t run for the hills when I confessed he was my secret love only endeared him to me more (truth be told, I spent much of the evening dancing with his wife than I did mooning over him).  While watching Grease, I was struck by how much Kelly looked like Tab Hunter.  And that leads to our next story.

In the 2005 book Tab Hunter Confidential (and the subsequent documentary in 2015), the actor discusses his clandestine love affair with fellow queer actor, Anthony Perkins.  That story will be the genesis of a film currently in development.  Tab & Tony is being produced by Zachary Quinto and J.J. Abrams.

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