-4.5 out of 5 Tokens-
The last couple years of live shows have been a bit disappointing. In 2001 and 2002, there were many excellent lives including classic CEC live show remakes and energetic dance songs. Unfortunately, there has been a decline in live show production and overall value in 2003 and 2004. With only one live show standing out (the dance song favorite, "YMCA") - these last few years have had fun songs that don't make good lives ( "Makin' It" and "Let's Groove"). Why didn't they make good lives? Well, they didn't work well because they aren't energetic and interactive unlike "YMCA". And that's what a true live show is - an upbeat song that can get cast members and guests part of the fun. And luckily we finally get an interactive and fun song choice for a live show - as seen in the movie Grease - "Born To Hand Jive"!
"Born To Hand Jive" is a Sha-Na-Na song, and is famous for being in the movie "Grease". In the May 1993 Show (and repeated in 1997's Chuck E's Jukebox Jam) "Hand Jive" has been used as a segment song. The video footage has been reused from the song for this live show. This is the first live show to have actual video footage since "What I Like About You 2001". Just like "YMCA 2003", "Hand Jive" has been licensed for use in two shows rather than the usual one.
"Hand Jive" is a great idea for a live show. All the ingredients are there - a famous dance song, interactivity with the guests (including a limbo part and a group participation part), and an easy routine for cast members. As always, guest participation and cast member motivation to do the live are key factors in live shows such as this. I mean, why would you waste time with this when "Chuck E Says" is so simpler to perform? Luckily hand jivin' isn't rocket science - and creativity can play a key factor during the different parts and routines of this live.
I do have a few things to nitpick - such as this is a very, very long song. I mean how long can you keep hand jiving entertaining? Although the interactivity and the energy is in this live - keeping it short and sweet is definitely the way to go for live show song choices. But as mentioned before, creativity and guest participation must come in for songs like "Hand Jive" to be a success.
One more thing that bothered me is the corny video footage from the original May 1993 Show's "Hand Jive". I can't help but feel the video distracts from the performers with the weird and funky tone of the footage. Those giant hands are creepy! I mean it's neat to see the video because it's classic CEC footage I have never seen before...but I still think using generic logos for the video works the best. Keeps your attention on what truly counts. In all this is a cool song choice - despite a couple kinks it's the best choice I have seen since "YMCA" and all the wonderful dance songs in 2002. I hope to see more fun dance songs used as lives in the future!