‘Grease’ premieres as live production

By: Zenab Saeed ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of popsugar.com |“Grease: Live!” is based on the original 1971 musical “Grease” and Paramount Pictures’ 1978 feature adaptation.

Fox television network’s highly anticipated live-action musical “Grease: Live!” aired on the network the evening of Jan. 31.

The three-hour show was performed in front of a live studio audience in Burbank, Calif.,and was shot on two different soundstages, one indoors and one outdoors.

Rehearsals for the show started in November of last year. Fox announced plans for the live musical in 2014, but production was delayed until the perfect cast could be found.

“From Broadway to film, and across generations, “Grease” is one of the most beloved musical stories ever told – and we can’t wait to bring it to our air in a spectacular live event,” Shana Waterman, Fox Event Series executive at the time of the announcement, said.

“Its iconic characters and addictive songs make it the perfect fit for Fox, and we’re going to give it the kind of star power and production quality to make every Sandy, Danny, Rizzo and Kenickie out there want to get up and sing along,” she said.

The musical starred actress and former “Dancing with the Stars” dancer Julianne Hough as Sandy and actor Aaron Tveit, best known for his roles in the musical “Next to Normal” and the 2012 film adaptation of “Les Miserables,” as Danny.

“Big Time Rush’s” Carlos PenaVega played the role of Danny’s sidekick Kenickie, singer Carly Rae Jepsen played the role of Frenchy and Keke Palmer, known for her role in popular television series “Scream Queens,” played Marty. The musical also featured musical appearances by Joe Jonas, Jessie J and Boyz II Men.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens, best known for her starring role in the “High School Musical” series, played the role of Rydell High School’s bad girl Rizzo.

The morning of the show, she took to Twitter to announce that she planned on dedicating her performance to her father, who died from cancer before the show.

Paramount Television’s live production of the 1971 Broadway musical “Grease,” was directed by film and theater directors Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski and choreographed by Zach Woodlee. Woodlee is best known for his choreography on the Fox television show “Glee.”

Although this version was very similar to its 1978 film version, many of its classic songs were censored for lyrics. According to executive producer Marc Platt, corporate sponsors urged for the lyric censorship in an effort to make the show more family-friendly.

“It’s going to be a very family- friendly show, but with the appropriate edge that it needs to have,” Platt said.

The production of “Grease: Live!” continues a newly popular trend of live televised musicals. NBC broadcasted a live performance of “The Sound of Music” starring Carrie Underwood in late 2013, “Peter Pan Live!” starring Allison Williams the following year and “The Wiz Live!” featuring Shanice Williams as Dorothy this past December.