Grease is the Word: A Review of Grease Live!


GREASE: LIVE: (L-R): Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Hudgens in GREASE: LIVE airing LIVE Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 (7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Cr: Tommy Garcia/FOX

The show must go on even with a little rain, which could have put a damper on the opening number, but Fox’s “Grease Live!” was performed almost seamlessly. The musical had been highly anticipated for months, and on Sunday, Jan. 31, the cast and crew took to the stage to perform in the live broadcast of the popular 1978 film. The hit movie, which originated as a musical, was transformed into a great, modern performance that attracted an audience of 12.8 million viewers.

“Grease Live!” included songs from the original musical that were not a part of the film, and even added a song that was written specifically for the TV musical. These pieces were flawless additions that enabled the crew to organize properly for the demands that surround a live show. With set and costume changes all happening in the moment, a live audience and extra scenes, Grease Live! featured a lot of added entertainment value. This also prevented awkward pauses that have been present in other live musical broadcasts that have aired in past years.

Ralph Hogaboom Photo, Courtesy of Flickr.
Ralph Hogaboom Photo, Courtesy of Flickr.

The cast included many stellar performers, as well as some special guests. Julianne Hough played Sandy, as Vanessa Hudgens, Carly Rae Jepsen and Keke Plamer led the Pink Ladies. Broadway and television star Aaron Tveit played Danny and singer Carlos Pena Vega took on Kenickie . Jessie J sang the theme song “Grease is the Word” to open the show and Joe Jonas’ new band, DNCE, served as the entertainment at Rydell High School’s dance marathon. Another noticeable guest was Didi Conn, who played Frenchie in the movie, but portrayed the waitress in this “Grease Live!” number.

Hough and Tveit led the cast and delivered solid performances true to the characters that fans know and love. Hough, who is best known for her role on “Dancing With the Stars,” certainly looked the part of Sandy. She was able to bust out her killer dance moves as well as show off some pretty impressive vocals.

But perhaps the strongest and most memorable performance came from Hudgens’ portrayal of Rizzo. The day before the performance Hudgens’ father passed away from cancer, and the actress decided to still perform in honor of her dad. She delivered a breath-taking performance, which is stirring talk about a possible Emmy nomination.

The entire show set the bar high for live musical broadcasts to come. The cast put on an enjoyable and entertaining performance, which the audience seemed to engage with. And don’t worry if you missed it, because you can watch the whole show online on Fox’s website.

Feature Image: Tom Blunt Photo, Courtesy of Flickr URL