movie version, Travolta's Danny Zuko was sexy and sensual, channeling Elvis Presley with his gyrating hips and crotch-grabbing. Tveit's performance in the live musical was energetic enough but lacked the erotic, raw animal-magnetism that Travolta's exuded. Maybe it was because he has such long arms, but the kung-fu like moves that Tveit was making while standing on the car reminded me of a chicken flapping its wings.
The musical's version of Greased Lightning provided many examples of a new verb that I just learned - to bowdlerize. Named after Dr. T. Bowdler who decided to publish an edition of Shakespeare without any sexual references or double-entendres, to bowdlerize means to edit out the offensive parts of something to the point of making it bland. If you compare the original lyrics of Greased Lightning to those performed on prime-time television, you can see that the latter has been bowdlerized to death! In describing the sexual magnetism of the car, the words "The chicks will cream" have been changed to "The chicks will scream". Provocative references to "getting off my rocks", "she's a real pussy wagon" and "You know that ain't no shit, we'll be getting lots of tit" have all been replaced with more PG13 lyrics. Similarly, at the end of the Sandra Dee song, instead of the line "Fongool, I'm Sandra Dee" which invokes an Italian vulgarity, Rizzo sings "Be Cool, I'm Sandra Dee".
Grease Live does not match my memories of the movie, but judging it solely on its own merit, I think they did a pretty good job. The show was entertaining and energetic, and for the most part, the musical numbers were well sung and danced. The reviewers on IMDB obviously agree since it is currently sitting with a 7.8 rating–a great improvement on the first two attempts at live musicals. This hopefully bodes well for more of these performances in the future.