Fox Will Air a Live Production of ‘Grease’
Perhaps inspired by the success of NBC’s live Sound of Music event, Fox is airing a similar live version of Grease. Billed as Grease Live, the three-hour broadcast is the first ever live TV production of the 1971 musical.
There’s no word on casting, but Fox’s announcement does clearly state that this will be a production of the musical and not the movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. But what does that mean? Well there are some differences between the two.
For starters, “Hopelessly Devoted,” “Sandy” and “The One That I Want” were all written for the film, and did not appear in the original Broadway production of Grease. However, due to their popularity, many revivals of the musical have included these songs and it would be surprising if they weren’t in Fox’s version. Also, many of the show’s songs were reworked or moved for the film, it will be interesting to see which arrangements Fox uses for its broadcast. Perhaps the most notable change for fans of the film is that, on stage, “We Go Together” is in Act I, rather than being the finale number, as it is in the film.
Also, the Broadway show is much more of an ensemble show than the film, which is essentially a vehicle for the Danny/Sandy love story. In the stage version, four of the five Pink Ladies have a solo and four of the five main boys (only called the T-Birds in the film) have solos.
It will also be interesting to see how dirty Fox is willing to get. Will we see the stage version with all of its drinking, smoking and abortions, or will we see a cleaned up version about two teenagers falling in love? I guess we’ll see next year, when Grease Live airs.