‘Grease: Live’:
What You Will (And Won’t) See In Fox Musical

“It's going to be a very family friendly show but with the appropriate edge that it needs to have”


Julienne Hough and Aaron Tveit in 'Grease Live'

Olivia Newton-John in 1978 film version of GREASE.

Olivia Newton-John in 1978 film version of GREASE.

Rydell High is kicking the habit.

All references to cigarettes have been removed from the GREASE: LIVE musical set to air January 31 on Fox.

“This is a family show,” producer Marc Platt tells TheTVPage.com.  “There is no smoking.”

The three hour event — starring Aaron Tveit (Danny) Julianne Hough (Sandy) and Vanessa Hudgens (Rizzo) — will be broadcast rain or shine from multiple locations around the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank.

Some of the suggestive dialogue and sexual references that helped earn the 1978 film a PG rating have been toned down, Platt says.

“We are not mimicking the film but you will be surprised at some of the scenes we are trying to replicate in a live, theatrical way.”

Here’s more of what die hard fans can expect from GREASE: LIVE:

SUGGESTIVE SONG LYRICS

Some NSFTV lines from the song “Greased Lightnin’” (“P***y wagon” and “the chicks will cream”) have been censored to meet broadcast standards and practices.

But a reference to date rape in “Summer Nights” (“Did she put up a fight?”) will remain.

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

PREGNANCY SCARE
“Even though GREASE does have this fun, lightheartedness about it, there’s some real stuff that’s going on,” Hudgens confirms.

“Rizzo does still have a pregnancy scare.  That’s one thing that I think roots her into this, kind of darker attitude that she has.  So I feel like it’s very important to Rizzo, and it’s still there.”

RACIAL DIVERSITY
“I could be one of the first African American people that are ever a part of this musical,” notes Keke Palmer, who takes over the role of Marty Maraschino (played in the film by Dinah Manoff).

Another black actor, Jordan Fisher, was cast as Doody.

“What I love is that my little brother and sister get to watch this show, and they get to actually see the world that is around them,” Palmer says.  “They are going to get introduced to ‘Grease’ in a way that their world looks today.”

FRENCHY SINGS!
The production features an original song written for Frenchy (Carly Rae Jepsen of “Call Me Maybe” fame).

“All I Need Is An Angel” was penned by “If/Then”songwriters Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST
Keep an eye out for Didi Conn and Barry Pearl (the original Frenchy and Doody)!

“Didi is playing Vi, who is the waitress who has a little scene with Frenchy,” Platt confirms.  “it was important for us to pay respect to this thing that moved many of us to probably end up doing this… So we do have a moment where we have the generations staring at each other.”
The GREASE: LIVE soundtrack — which will be available for download on iTunes — features a contemporary reimagining of the theme song (performed “like you’ve never heard it before”) by Jesse J.

Also look out for Boyz II Men’s version of “Teen Angel” along with a pair of solos for Palmer (“Magic Changes” and “Freddy My Love”).

“It’s going to be a pretty great cast album,” Platt promises.

“Grease: Live” airs Sunday January 31 on Fox.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly