As the kids at Rydell High sang, “We Go Together” at the end of Fox’s 2016 production of Grease: Live, there was a moment where “Wa-ooh, yeah!” almost turned into “oh God, the humanity!”
The closing number of the musical’s live broadcast included members of the cast hopping in tram-style carts and scooting over to the Rydell fairground, where everyone would sing and dance their bobby socks off in the show’s big closer. And everything about the high-energy transition went well… until the cart ferrying Wendell Pierce, Eve Plumb and a bunch more actors took a corner too closely and was in danger of tipping over when the vehicle’s back passenger-side wheel accidentally hit a curb. (Luckily, the cart righted itself and the show carried on with everyone unharmed.)
Marc Platt, an executive producer of Grease: Live — as well as of NBC’s recent Jesus Christ Superstar Live — and self-described “very nervous man,” recalls thinking one thing as he watched the cart: “Oh my God.”
But as soon as he realized no harm befell his cast, Platt explains, he was able to appreciate the beauty of the tweet-worthy moment. “In retrospect, what I realized is that that is something that live television can do that nobody else can do,” he says. “And then, instead of being afraid of it, as Neil [Meron, Platt’s fellow Superstar EP] said, ‘We learn not to be daunted.'”
He adds: “You want to throw some stuff out there that you want to work great. And if it doesn’t, the audience kind of is excited about it, quite frankly.”
Press PLAY on the video above to watch the tip in slow-mo, then hit the comments to weigh in: Do moments like the cart-tip enhance, or detract from, your enjoyment of live TV events?