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"Greased Lightining" car ideas

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Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Props, Scenery, Costumes and Makeup
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URL: http://www.communitytheater.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2258
Printed Date: 12/22/14 at 7:03am
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Topic: "Greased Lightining" car ideas
Posted By: njg1
Subject: "Greased Lightining" car ideas
Date Posted: 2/11/07 at 7:50pm
Hello out there-
I'm sure that someone has done "Grease" and has had to deal with the car issue- Is there a place where such a vehicle can be rented on the west coast (bay area)?  Or do you just have to "reinvent the wheel" (pun definitely intended) every time you do the show?  I don't want a 2 dimensional mock-up- I'd like to use something that actually works....All ideas welcome- We need it by March 10!
Barbara
mailto:barbaras1950@yahoo.com - barbaras1950@yahoo.com



Replies:
Posted By: Topper
Date Posted: 2/11/07 at 9:03pm

A professional dinner-theater in our area did a big-budget revival of "Grease" and the car was problematical for them as well.  A full-size T-bird would never fit on stage or in the wings so they cannibalized an electric golf-cart and built a smaller "Greased Lightning" fibreglas body atop the chassis.  The car could actually be driven, but since it was powered silently by electric batteries, the sound of a revving engine was added with loudspeakers.  It's proportions were definitely compressed (Kinecki looked HUGE driving it) and it got both laughter and applause on its entrance.

If you don't have that kind of skill, money or time (and very few theaters do) you might try to convince a local vo-tech school that it would be a fun project for their automotive body shop.  Some larger-pocket patrons with country club connections might be able to find a suitable golf cart to experiment with.
 
Good luck.


-------------
"None of us really grow up. All we ever do is learn how to behave in public." -- Keith Johnstone


Posted By: TimW
Date Posted: 2/11/07 at 10:02pm
The local Kiwanis organization produced 'Grease' last year. Someone found a car at a junk yard. It was stripped out for weight and reinforced where needed. I didn't get a chance to see the show (another show I was doing conflicted with it), but this might give another idea.
 


Posted By: Linda S
Date Posted: 2/12/07 at 8:15am
We did the same. . .stripped out a car. Cut into pieces. Took it up a flight of stairs and reassembled it on stage. It then got wired for lights and a horn. It worked great, but it was a lot of work.
 
Linda


Posted By: Gaafa
Date Posted: 2/12/07 at 9:56am
The first set I designed for ‘Grease’. I had a revolve set in a false stage, with Kinecki’s car on one side of a double sided profiled flat & the other side the ‘Grease lightning’ car. It was mounted on a truck with fixed castors. For the Grease Lightning scene, the truck was pushed on to the edge of the revolve. The revolve rotated & a spigot was drooped into a hole in the revolve, upstage of the trucks leading edge. As the revolve moved around the truck followed until it centralised it’s self in the middle of the revolve. When the cue line of "Grease Lightning" was given, the  revolve turned the truck around & revealed the ‘Grease Lightning car on the other side. Helped by suitable lighting & a pyro ‘maroon’ flash pot, it worked like magic.
However the next time I did the set, the prevailing powers, decided to be more realistic & use a real iridescent green hot rod. It was masked with painted canvas & bits of tatt as Kinicki’s car & rolled on with the masking removed as Grease Lightning, it was pathetic!
The punters only applauded at the end of the number.
the yoyo’s missed the point completely, of the mise en scene being presented in cartoon colours, for the sake of being realistic - the Wally’s!
Also it created more problems than they could wave a stick at, but that’s all another story.
Stay with representation & even as it was presented originally apparently. They used rostra to give the illusion of an improvised car & the other set pieces.  



-------------
      Joe
Western Gondawandaland
turn right @ Perth.
Hear the light & see the sound.
Toi Toi Toi Chookas {{"chook [chicken] it is"}
May you always play
to a full house}



Posted By: JohnnyOneNote
Date Posted: 3/05/07 at 12:04pm
We used the golf cart with sound fx. but we had two SHELLS made from chicken wire and paper mache that fit over the cart. ya cheap, but had an excellent artist who painted the thing great!
It looked pretty darn cool actually. :)


Posted By: Steenberg
Date Posted: 3/25/07 at 11:34am
We have a real Buick, motor and other heavy stuff went out the roof went of, then we build in at el-motor ,theater weel , dry ice, everything 24 volt.
when its on the place on stage it will be raisede with hydralic and starts to turn around, the car was new paintet but when it drives on stage the one side was ogly, we used wita-rap a film that we put over the red painted car only on the ordiens side the film was painted ogly, it was done befor evry show ,when the car turn around the film was taking off. Hope you understand it.
 
Steenberg
Denmark


Posted By: njg1
Date Posted: 3/25/07 at 4:45pm
Wow! I love all of these ingenious solutions!!!  We finally found a car (a metropolitan) that had been gutted and used at Ohlone College for "Grease"- You know, in the actual musical, the script doesn't call for the car to come back all "jazzed" up- The car was great! Ittotally surprised the audience...the greasers pushed the car on stage from stage left, on an angle...it also worked really well for the drive in movie scene!  You are all the best!  Designers and techies rule!


Posted By: Mr. Lowell
Date Posted: 3/28/07 at 1:56pm
Congrats on successful show!
 
In case someone else is doing Grease, here are a couple other solutions:
 
In 2004 Greensboro College did Grease, and the design professor John Saari, (who by the way is the inventor of Sculpt-or-Coat glue), built a large fake car out of styrofoam.  They carved it to look like a real hotrod and sealed it with cheesecloth & Sculpt-or-Coat.   This lightweight car body was then fitted over the top of an old electric golf cart!
 
His prop was simple, lightweight, durable, easy to store backstage, very easy to drive and manuever around the set, and visually entertaining.  It was made to fit over ANY golf cart, so he rented it out.  I saw it used again at a local high school, so I know he still has it in storage. 
 
Here is his contact info:
http://theatre.gborocollege.edu/john.html - http://theatre.gborocollege.edu/john.html
 
***
 
In 1980 I was on set crew for a production of Grease at UNC-Greensboro.   Greg Bell, the faculty shop foreman, built a very cool car!    He welding a basic pipe frame with old seats, a real steering wheel, and 4 working tires off a VW bug.   The coolest thing about the project for us as students was getting to experiment with spray foam!  Greg used liquid expanding spray foam, and shot the entire car frame with it.  Lot's of it!  After it hardened we sculpted it down to a smooth, contoured surface.   Then we painted it red with a lighting bolt on the side.  (I can't recall if we sealed the foam with something before painting).
 
The car worked very well for the production.  It was lightweight enough to be picked up and moved in order to fit in the tight wingspace of Aycock Theatre.   The car was kept for years and hung from the grid of Taylor Theatre in case schools wanted to borrow it.   (It was eventually trashed).
But it was a fun and creative prop.  -Dana
 


-------------
Mr. Lowell,
Lighting/Set Designer & Tech Director,
for the Linda Sloan Theatre,
in the Davison Center for the Arts,
at Greensboro Day School


Posted By: techiegod
Date Posted: 3/15/08 at 3:36pm
I HAVE A CAR!!! ITS MADE OF WOOD AND IS PAINTED TO LOOK LIKE GREASED LIGHTNING. ITS BEAUTIFUL. ONLY PROBLEM IS ITS ON THE NORTHEAST (Long Island).  email for pictures. mcl.seanmc@gmail.com the car is FOR SALE. it has working lights and wheels spin, but is on casters. price is flexible. please contact about purchasing.


Posted By: Gammera65
Date Posted: 3/15/08 at 9:43pm
We just finished a production of 'Grease' at a local high school, and have a pretty cool "Greased Lighting".  It's based on a '32 Ford Deuce Coupe, and is full size (approx. 5' wide x 11' long), with working steering and headlights.  One side is a rusted "hulk", and the other side is a finished street rod.  The passenger door also works.  It also has a flash pot under the hood so it can backfire when it first appears.  We spent so much time on this thing that I hate to see it taken apart, so it's for rent or purchase.  Contact me for photos.  We also have a bed for Marty's bedroom scene that unfolds out of a big "Barbie Doll Travel Case".  That's for sale or rent too.

-------------
Gammera65


Posted By: downstagectr
Date Posted: 3/24/08 at 7:44pm
I am very intersted in purchasing or renting a grease lighting car.  Can you please send details and photos?  mailto:Downstagectr@aol.com - Downstagectr@aol.com Thanks, Dani

-------------
Dani


Posted By: HEB1022
Date Posted: 3/29/08 at 3:13pm
Originally posted by Gammera65

We just finished a production of 'Grease' at a local high school, and have a pretty cool "Greased Lighting".  It's based on a '32 Ford Deuce Coupe, and is full size (approx. 5' wide x 11' long), with working steering and headlights.  One side is a rusted "hulk", and the other side is a finished street rod.  The passenger door also works.  It also has a flash pot under the hood so it can backfire when it first appears.  We spent so much time on this thing that I hate to see it taken apart, so it's for rent or purchase.  Contact me for photos.  We also have a bed for Marty's bedroom scene that unfolds out of a big "Barbie Doll Travel Case".  That's for sale or rent too.
 
We are doing Grease in Atlanta, GA area and I would be interested in information on the car.  My email is mailto:h_burnette@hotmail.com - h_burnette@hotmail.com  . Would you be able to send a few pictures and let me know what part of the country you are in?


Posted By: actorsco
Date Posted: 4/03/08 at 10:26pm
Hello,
I am very interested in the Grease car you made.  What is the price and can I see some pictures of it?  I am directing a production of grease right now.
 
Thank you so much, I look forward to hearing from you.
http://home.comcast.net/~techdirector/PAI-1.html -


Posted By: actorsco
Date Posted: 4/03/08 at 10:28pm
Sorry, My email is mailto:littletevye@sbcglobal.net - littletevye@sbcglobal.net
 
 
I am interested in the Grease Car.


Posted By: actorsco
Date Posted: 4/03/08 at 10:29pm
Hello,
I am very interested in the Grease car you made.  What is the price and can I see some pictures of it?  I am directing a production of grease right now.
 
Thank you so much, I look forward to hearing from you.
 
You cna reach me at mailto:littletevye@sbcglobal.net - littletevye@sbcglobal.net
 
Michael


Posted By: Mr. Lowell
Date Posted: 4/04/08 at 10:54am
Greensboro College, (central North Carolina), did Grease, and the design professor John Saari, (who by the way is the inventor of Sculpt-or-Coat glue), built a large fake car out of styrofoam.  They carved it to look like a real hotrod and sealed it with cheesecloth & Sculpt-or-Coat.   This lightweight car body was then fitted over the top of an old electric golf cart!
 
His prop was simple, lightweight, durable, easy to store backstage, very easy to drive and manuever around the set, and visually entertaining.  It was made to fit over ANY golf cart, so he rents it out.  I saw it used again at a local high school, so I know he still has it in storage. 
 
Here is his contact info:
http://theatre.gborocollege.edu/john.html - http://theatre.gborocollege.edu/john.html


-------------
Mr. Lowell,
Lighting/Set Designer & Tech Director,
for the Linda Sloan Theatre,
in the Davison Center for the Arts,
at Greensboro Day School


Posted By: guardianangeljv
Date Posted: 4/08/08 at 2:46pm
Hi!
I am a professor at Mitchell College in New London, CT and am directing our first ever musical in May. It happens to be GREASE and, as is always the case with this show, we are having trouble finding and/or building a GREASED LIGHTNING car. Our theater is on the second floor of a building which complicates the problem even further. I would be willing to do just about anything or go anywhere to get a useable car or to find details as to how to build one. Can you help us????????????????????????? Thank you. 


-------------
Donna Moss Ogle


Posted By: guardianangeljv
Date Posted: 4/08/08 at 2:50pm
I have just posted a reply to you about GREASE LIGHTNING. Please read it at your convenience and let me know if we might be able to work together on this. Thanks you.
Donna Ogle


-------------
Donna Moss Ogle


Posted By: LLSmith
Date Posted: 5/09/08 at 4:33pm
Hi!
Is your car still available?
Very interested.
-Lauren


Posted By: lachellec
Date Posted: 5/15/08 at 4:43pm

I too am interested in renting or buying a car and maybe some other set pieces such as the bed for Grease next month. Los Angeles area. Please reply!

Lachelle



Posted By: actorsco
Date Posted: 5/15/08 at 6:38pm

Hello Lachelle,

I am directing a production of Grease right now in Michigan, we close May 18, this Sunday.

We have a great Grease Car it is 4ft  wide by 5ft week long, we did not do a full bed for Marty's bedroom, we just made all our pieces very representational and mobile.  We had a window seat instead.

 

If you want to see pictures or have any questions, please let me know.

 

Thanks

 

Michael



Posted By: lachellec
Date Posted: 5/15/08 at 6:52pm
Thanks for the reply! I think maybe MI is a little too far to ship to CA, but I would love to see a photo to give me ideas, if you don't mind. mailto:lachelle11@gmail.com - lachelle11@gmail.com


Posted By: guardianangeljv
Date Posted: 5/16/08 at 11:32am
Hi Lachelle,
We ended up borrowing a "handicap scooter" from a local grocery store and then building around it with wood and foamboard. It sounds weird but it looked great and could be driven on and off the stage so the audience loved it.
 
For the beds...I used two (one for Marty and one for Sandy) on raised platforms that extended into the auditorium....we built them out of wood, regular twin bed size, painted them black, and then just covered them with bedspreads, pillows, and stuffed animals. No one would have known that they were not real beds. Using the platforms allowed me to set both those scenes in advance and leave them there for the entire show making for very quick scene changes.
 
Hope this helps.
Donna Ogle


-------------
Donna Moss Ogle


Posted By: lachellec
Date Posted: 5/16/08 at 11:52am
what great ideas! thanks!


Posted By: Charlie328
Date Posted: 5/26/08 at 6:10am
Hi Lachelle,
    We just did "Grease" last fall and we had a community person donate an old sedan to the school, tax writeoff for him, and then took it to the Auto shop kids and turned them loose on it.   They turned a sedan into a convertible, added fins on the back and took any and all off it that was heavy.  Left the seats, steering colum, wheels and horn and lights.
Used the set which was two levels, upper hallway and lower (stage ) area.  Made the lower hall/stage level open into a "garage" and the inside of the "garage" doors were the set background for the "shop" in "Grease".
     We rolled the car onto and off stage as needed.   We used a cable attached to the rear axle as a safety mechanism in case someone pushed too hard or forgot where they were.  Our director and also our musicians were a little nervous about this full size car coming at them while they were in the pit.  Don't know why, I guess they don't trust there Tech Crew.
     Hope this helps.   By the way we re-donated the car to the shop kids...they are still playing with it.
Charlie


-------------
"TANSTAAFL" (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch)
Heinlein


Posted By: mary051756
Date Posted: 1/23/09 at 8:28am
Do you still have the Greas Lightening car - if so - how much are you looking to sell/rent it for?

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“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” EMERSON


Posted By: mary051756
Date Posted: 1/23/09 at 8:35am
do you still have the grease lightening car and bed for Grease?  where are you located?

-------------
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” EMERSON


Posted By: actorsco
Date Posted: 1/23/09 at 9:31am
Hello,
We are located inMichigan and still have the "Greased Lightnin Car".  We did not use a bed, we used a 4 x 8 flat with a window seat connected to it.  It was pretty representational.
 
Contact Colleen Meyer at 734-751-7133 or mailto:cmeyer@ci.wayne.mi.us - cmeyer@ci.wayne.mi.us


Posted By: BooneCommThtre
Date Posted: 1/28/09 at 2:02pm
See the posting by BooneCommTheatre.  We have Grease Lightning for sale.  Made mostly of 2x4's and plywood, pushed off/on stage with caster wheels.  Sturdy enough to have the "Burger Palace Boys" dance on the hood and trunk.

-------------
Tony Foley, Boone Comm Theatre
and Boone HS Tech Director


Posted By: techdirector
Date Posted: 2/15/09 at 10:45pm
Renting a car would be much easier and you don't have to figure out what to do with it when the show is over.  Check this out...
 
Available for your production of GREASE!!
 
The One...
         The Only...
 
          GREASED LIGHTNING !!
 
For Specs and Rental Information click:
http://www.greaserentals.com/ - http://www.greaserentals.com
 
Three Cars available - 2 motorized - 1 push on prop.
 
All cars are reinforced for dancing.
(Out of State Delivery available - call for more information.)


Posted By: Mr. Lowell
Date Posted: 2/26/09 at 3:58pm
We open "Grease (School Version)"  from Samuel French tonight.  I ended up using a 3/4 scale car based on a golf cart chassis, which turned out to be the perfect size for our 7th and 8th grade cast.  I rented the car body from John Saari at Greensboro College.
 
Here is a link to a news story that the local TV station did this morning:
http://www.greensboroday.org/cf_news/view.cfm?newsid=293 - http://www.greensboroday.org/cf_news/view.cfm?newsid=293
 
 
 
 


-------------
Mr. Lowell,
Lighting/Set Designer & Tech Director,
for the Linda Sloan Theatre,
in the Davison Center for the Arts,
at Greensboro Day School


Posted By: meldelsole
Date Posted: 6/28/09 at 3:05pm
I am interested in the bed you had for Marty - is it still available? If not, could you give specs for building it?
We have a very small space, and we are doing "Grease" at the end of this month (July 2009) - Thanks

-------------
Melanie


Posted By: BooneCommThtre
Date Posted: 7/03/09 at 9:19pm
For our production of GREASE, we had bedroom sets on either side of the downstage apron that remained during the whole show.  One bedroom was Marty's, the other was Sandy's.  We had a couple of twin-size beds donated to us for the use of the show.

-------------
Tony Foley, Boone Comm Theatre
and Boone HS Tech Director


Posted By: Turner
Date Posted: 8/01/09 at 11:03pm
Hi - I was wondering about the music for Grease School Version. You said you used a 7 piece orch. What instruments did you have? Samuel French only has the script listed - was there a separate piano/vocal score? Our group has to use the canned music musicals all the time since we are a community kids group with no musicians but, after reading your post, thought this might be something we could whip together - your thoughts. Thanks. 


Posted By: musikman1
Date Posted: 8/04/09 at 9:00pm
The full orchestration for Grease (either version) is:
 
Piano/conductor
Guitar1
Guirar2
Bass
Drums/Percussion (1 player)
Tenor Sax1
Tenor Sax2
 
 


-------------
Rick
http://www.bway2.com/tracks


Posted By: MrsDirector
Date Posted: 8/27/09 at 9:19pm
Is the score the same for Grease original and Grease school version, just with different words?  I have both scripts and am trying to decide which to do, but I couldnt find the school version score...?  I know the song- "There are worse things I could do" isnt in the school version though.  Any idea if they are otherwise the same?


Posted By: thalia27
Date Posted: 1/23/10 at 10:19pm
Do you still have the grease car for sale? If so, please e-mail pix to mailto:jregaliawood@comcast.net - jregaliawood@comcast.net
 
Thanks


Posted By: musikman1
Date Posted: 2/21/10 at 8:02am
The school version of Grease is sometimes referred to as "De-Greased," as it removes a lot of the element that define the characters, and at least one song (the best one in the show), There Are Worse Things I Could Do: has been excised.
 
It's sort of like making Romeo and Juliet more palatable for school audienced by letting them both live, get married and live happily ever after.
 
Rick


-------------
Rick
http://www.bway2.com/tracks


Posted By: John Luzaich
Date Posted: 4/06/10 at 12:17pm
The original off broadway production (Eden Theatre) that transferred to broadway (Royale Theatre) used a scaled down 3/4 size car built that came down a motorized track in the stage floor from SL, traveled to center and turned DS.  When the scene was over, the car turned around 180 degrees, went up center and then back out the same track.

-------------
John
cfct@cfu.net
http://www.osterregent.org
http://www.facebook.com/osterregent


Posted By: pkoenig
Date Posted: 3/08/11 at 11:27am
I just finished making greased lightning for our local high school production.  It was based on a golf cart, so it could be driven on & off stage.  It has a wood frame and skin of 1/8" masonite.  I had to return the golf cart, but the body is available, and can be bolted directly to an EZ-GO golf cart without any modifications.  I also have a canvas overlay which was the old, junky greased lightning, removed during a blackout in the song to reveal the hot rod underneath. I'm having trouble attaching photos to this post, but email  me at mailto:npkoenig@charter.net - npkoenig@charter.net and I'll happily send them along.  I am in Richmond, Illinois, about 50 mi NW of Chicago.
 
--Pete Koenig



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