Fallen cars

Posted by Paul Anderson | Thursday, April 30, 2009 @ 2:48 AM


I was thinking Tuesday night why “Grease” could still entertain us so, especially considering how alien the late ’50s must seem to this generation that just last summer faced a complete collapse of its economic system. The ’50s marked an extended era of unprecedented prosperity. Back then a man could get a job that would support the whole family while his wife raised the kids.

The answer, of course, is simple: nostalgia. “Grease” was similarly popular when it debuted on stage in the early ’70s as the country wrestled with the turbulent hangovers from the cultural wars of the ’60s and the Vietnam conflict; and then, of course, in 1978 when the movie version was released the gas shortages of 1973 and Watergate were still on our minds and by the spring of 1979 another oil crisis loomed. We just pined for simpler times — as if the Korean War, the Jim Crow South and post-World War II reconstruction actually marked such a bright era. Nostalgia has a way of clouding our memories.

Or, perhaps, it’s just that good music and dancing take our minds off our troubles. Of that I’m certain. But even as I wallowed in the fun nostalgia of “Grease” Tuesday night, the troubles of some good musician friends of mine were ever on my mind.


Greased lightning in idle

Posted by Paul Anderson | Wednesday, April 29, 2009 @ 2:23 AM


You know what’s the problem with “Grease?”

The main characters of Danny and Sandy aren’t as interesting as Kenickie and Rizzo. That was the case even with the blockbuster 1978 movie, too, as it was tonight at the premiere of the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s theatrical production. But the movie at least had John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in the starring roles and their charisma and star power made up the difference in character development.


The long, winding road to the promised land

Posted by Paul Anderson | Monday, April 27, 2009 @ 1:17 AM


As a reporter I hear inspirational stories all the time. After all, I’m in the business of telling compelling stories and people pitch them all the time.

But now and again I encounter one that’s so good I think if someone pitched it for a memoir or a biopic they’d be told it’s too on the nose.

Then I heard the story of Elizabeth Moses this weekend at the pinning ceremony for nursing students at Costa Mesa-based West Coast University. This is a good one, folks.


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