It was FOX day at the Television Critics Association tour in Pasadena CA Friday, and along with news regarding the American Idol farewell season, the fate of Empire and SYTYCD, and news about The Passion and Rocky Horror Picture Show, came a few announcements regarding the upcoming production of Grease Live!
Frenchy, played by one of our favs, Carly Rae Jepsen will get her own song, finally. In the original production, the “Pink Lady” doesn’t sing, but has a song sung to her (“Beauty School Dropout”) instead. It’s a no brainer. Why waste the prodigious vocal talents of Carly Rae? The new tune is penned by music supervisor Tom Kitt and Brian Yorker, the writers behind If/Then and Next to Normal, respectively.
Additionally, Didi Conn, who played the role in the 1978 film, will appear in the production as a waitress alongside fellow Grease co-star Barry Pearl, who played Doody.
The 3 hour live production, set to air on FOX Sunday January 31, 7 pm ET, will fuse together the best of both the movie and the 1971 Broadway show. According to Entertainment Weekly, the script has been adapted to TV for optimum family friendliness:
Robert Cary and Jonathan Tolin have updated the script for the live telecast. The lyrics have been mildly softened—so don’t worry about your child hearing Danny Zuko say “the chicks will cream” on live television. “We’re working really hard to get those lyrics out of our heads,” said Aaron Tveit, who plays the leading T-Bird. “Hopefully it doesn’t slip out.”
Stage director Thomas Kail (Hamilton) tells EW the show will feature a flashback bookend structure wherein Jessie J will kick off the telecast with a performance of the title song, decidedly set in 2016, before the audience is transported back to the late ‘50s. How the telecast ends is still undetermined, flying car included.
The live production will be mounted on multiple stages, including outdoors (the carnival will be set on the studio backlot) and filmed in front of a live audience. Immediately after the broadcast, a cast soundtrack will be available for download from iTunes.
The cast of Grease: Live includes Aaron Tveit, Carly Rae Jepsen, Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Keke Palmer, Carlos Penavega, Kether Donahue, Jordan Fisher, Andrew Call, David Del Rio, Ana Gasteyer, Mario Lopez, Boyz II Men (Teen Angels), and Joe Jonas.
Watch a behind the scenes trailer