Didi Conn brings 'Grease' sing-a-long to Hollywood Bowl

Poster for the "Grease" sing-along at the Hollywood Bowl, June 25, 2010.
Poster for the "Grease" sing-along at the Hollywood Bowl, June 25, 2010. Courtesy of Hollywood Bowl

Tonight at the Hollywood Bowl, fans of the film “Grease” can sing along with hits like “Hopelessly Devoted To You” and “Greased Lightning.” Actress Didi Conn, who played Frenchy in the movie, will host the evening.

Conn told KPCC’s Alex Cohen about how she first got into acting and what it was like to audition for the role of the famous beauty school drop-out.

Conn says that Paramount Pictures told all the actors auditioning for "Grease" to show up dressed for the role. Trying out for the role of Frenchy, Conn decided not only to rent a 50s outfit from a costume shop but to get her hair done, too.

She drove down Crescent Heights where she came across a beauty salon called... Frenchy's!

"I couldn't believe my eyes," she says, "It was like heaven, you know? And there was Frenchy with this enormous, wonderful, imaginative hairdo."

Conn left the salon with a great new coiffure and a better understanding of what it's like to go to beauty school and become a hairstylist.

When she arrived at the Paramount lot, Conn felt confident in her looks, but not in her understanding of the role — seeing as she was just given a few pages of the script, known as sides. But, as she pulled up to the security guard's kiosk, she noticed a stack of thick envelopes.

"Excuse me, see those big fat envelopes?" she asked the guard. "Do they have scrips of 'Grease' in them by any chance?"

Turns out they did! The guard let Conn take a sneak peak, but only if she read the script while hiding under his desk. Armed with a better sense of the character, she fared well in her audition. But, she says reading the script may not have made too much of a difference. The director told her she got the part the second she opened her mouth, on account of her great voice.

For tonight's sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl, bring your best poodle skirt, saddle shoes, biker jacket, shades for the pre-show parade, and your heartiest vocals for a frolicking ‘50s sing-along to "Grease," for the first time on the Bowl’s giant screen. Grease is the word!

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