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Live Production of "Grease" Coming to Fox on January 31

Grease will be the word on the Fox network Sunday, January 31 with a brand new, live, production of the show.

While NBC has been the developer of the new, live Broadway musical events (The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz), both Fox and ABC have been looking to jump on the bandwagon.

Fox announced Grease earlier this year but plans have now been firmed up on the production. Grease will be directed by Thomas Kail (TV move The Critical Hour, Broadway's In the Heights, Hamilton) with set designs by David Korins (Annie, Godspell, Hamilton, Motown: The Musical) with those sets spread across three locations on the Warner Brothers lot. Adding to the complexity is that the show will be performed in front of a studio audience (or, we would assume, multiple audiences across the different locations).

Already cast are:
  • Julianne Hough (Footloose, Dancing With the Stars) - Sandy
  • Aaron Tveit (Les Miserables, Graceland) - Danny
  • Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Freaks of Nature) - Rizzo
  • Carlos PenaVega (Big Time Rush, Dancing With the Stars) - Kenickie
  • Carly Rae Jepsen (songs Call Me Maybe, Good Times) - Frenchie
  • Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee, Scream Queens) - Marty
  • Kether Donahue (You're the Worst) - Jan
  • Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell, Extra) - Vince Fontaine
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas Brothers) - Teen Angel / Johnny Casino
  • Martin Short (SCTV, Saturday Night Live) - Coach Calhoun
  • Ana Gasteyer (Saturday Night Live) - Principal McGee
Grease originally premiered on Broadway in 1971 and, at one point, was the longest running show in Great White Way history. The show starred Carole Demas as Sandy, Barry Bostwick as Danny and Adrienne Barbeau as Rizzo. 

In 1973, the show opened in London with Stacey Gregg in the lead and Richard Gere and Patrick Swayze as Danny. A 1993 London production starred Debbie Gibson while it was revived on Broadway twice in 1994 and 2007.

It was the film, though, that was the most fondly remembered of all versions. With John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing and Jeff Conaway, the film was a major hit, spending some time in the all-time top ten films, with the soundtrack album hitting number 1.

Musically, the original Broadway show only contained some of the best remembered songs from the show, including Summer Nights, Greased Lightning and We Go Together. The film added the title song and You're the One That I Want. The Fox version will incorporate songs from both the original stage production and the film.