Fox’s Grease: Live (airing Sunday, Jan. 31) may sound a little different from the movie version beloved by fans.
The musical event will take “the best of the film” as well as “songs from the original stage production,” executive producer Marc Platt said Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena. “We’re combining them into an experience that we think works for live television.”
In addition to featuring the tunes “Those Magic Changes” and “Freddy My Love” from the stage production, Grease: Live will include an original song performed by Carly Rae Jepsen’s Frenchie. (Speaking of the iconic character, the movie’s original Frenchie, Didi Conn, will play Vi, the waitress who with interacts with the wannabe beautician.)
Director Thomas Kail (Hamilton) assured that the Fox broadcast will be a “family-friendly show, with the appropriate edge,” so don’t expect to hear some of the more sexually explicit lyrics. However, the question of whether Sandy “put up a fight” during her summer lovin’ with Danny, as well a certain plot point involving a possibly knocked-up teen, remain part of the story.
“Rizzo does still have a pregnancy scare and that moves her into this darker attitude,” her portrayer Vanessa Hudgens said.
As for Grease‘s original stars, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John “haven’t reached out with tips, but they’ve both been enormously supportive and sent a lot of love,” Platt shared. “For them, Grease is such an iconic part of each of their careers. The fact that it’s lived on for so many years has been a blessing to them. They’re very excited about it, and I know they’ll be watching on the night of.”