Theatre Thursday :: the ladyqueer Grease

30 Jul

So a friend (the lovely defineinteresting) of ours saw a production of Grease this weekend and frantically texted about how very queer it was played, in this case regarding Rizzo having feelings for Sandy.  Her arguments were (quoted from a text):

  • Rizzo aggressively showing dislike for Sandy from the get go
  • the stage version of Rizzo singing “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” with just her and Sandy on stage
  • Rizzo’s only other solo number being literally all about Sandy, albeit making fun of her

Now, I’ve seen Grease multiple times but it’s not my favorite of shows, as I’m sure I’ve said before, but this theory would make me significantly more interested.  Involving queer girls makes me more interested in most things, possibly just because I’m starving for them.  And this is not the only viable way to queer this show up, either!

There’s a tumblr post about genderswapping Danny, so you have a tough rebel girl (possibly a tomboy, the gang could be genderswapped or not at your leisure) falling in love with a sweet cheerleader type. The secret dream of my heart is for someone to just cast Kristen Stewart because you’d have to rework the songs for a lower key, but she’d be so perfect. I’m also having not-fully-formed joke thoughts about the proverbial “she wears short shorts, I wear t-shirts, she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers” formula, also tumblr-popular, wherein that dichotomy sets up not a rivalry but a romance.

Another option is, much like Carmilla, to just swap everyone’s gender so that they’re all or mostly girls. The creators of Carmilla have stated multiple times that the majority of the cast, with the possible exception of Perry, Kirsch, and JP, are queer, and the majority of onscreen relationships/attractions have been f/f. If they took this approach, the T-Birds could be butch, the Pink Ladies femme/hard femme, and Sandy could be pulled into hanging with the straight kids even though she’s not straight. That actually sounds like a compelling story with interesting social politics involved.

–your fangirl heroines.


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