TrevorDecker.com podcast host Ed Boston talks with actress Eve Plumb, who is best known for her role as Jan Brady on the 1970’s television series “The Brady Bunch”.
Eve will portray the shop teacher Mrs. Murdoch in FOX’s “Grease Live” airing on January 31. She discusses what goes into producing a live television musical, getting to know the cast and more.
FOX Announces “Grease Live” Encore Easter Night
Fox has announced plans to air an encore of it’s breakthrough live production of “Grease” March 27. Cast and members of the production have been asked to tweet during the broadcast. Viewers can participate in the conversation by using the hashtag #GreaseLive in tweets send out while watching the encore.
GREASE: LIVE stars Julianne Hough (“Safe Haven,” “Rock of Ages”) as the angelic “Sandy” – Rydell High’s most talked-about newcomer – and Aaron Tveit (“Graceland,” “Les Miserables”) as bad boy “Danny Zuko,” Also tapped to star are Vanessa Hudgens (Broadway’s “Gigi,” “Spring Breakers”) as iconic bad girl “Rizzo,” Keke Palmer (SCREAM QUEENS, “Masters of Sex”) as the sassy Pink Lady “Marty Maraschino” and Carlos PenaVega (“Big Time Rush”) as “Kenickie,” Danny’s tough-guy sidekick.
Featuring a young ensemble cast, GREASE: LIVE will reintroduce and reimagine some of the show’s most memorable moments, great music and timeless love story to an entirely new generation. In this live television adaptation of the musical classic, the beginning of senior year means the end of Danny and Sandy’s summer romance – until Sandy unexpectedly transfers to Danny’s high school. Can Danny maintain his bad-boy image as the coolest member of the T-Birds, once he and Sandy start going together, and can Sandy remain a good girl after she joins the Pink Ladies? With their friends Rizzo and Kenickie pulling them in different directions, it’s up to Danny and Sandy to stay hopelessly devoted as they make their way from Rydell High to a new frontier.
Vanessa Hudgens “Grease: Live” Solo Made Many Viewers Teary-Eyed
Vanessa Hudgens’ solo performance of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do’ took on a different tone for many watching “Grease: Live” Sunday night, in light of the news of her father passing away just hours earlier. The final verse of the song pulled at the heart strings. “But to cry in front of you is the worse thing I could do” she sings as the number came to a close.
The live audience burst out in applause and hundreds of fans who were watching the show at home shared their support for the star on Twitter for putting on a brave face after her devastating personal loss.
Many were overcome with emotions themselves and admired Hudgens bravery for going on with her live performance.
FOX’s “Grease: Live” Tops NBC’s Last Two Musicals
Fox’s first live-musical effort was not only a hit with viewers and critics, but scored in the ratings too.
Sunday night’s Grease: Live delivered 12.2 milllion viewers and a strong 4.3 rating among adults 18-49.
The three-hour musical was easily the biggest show on broadcast, and also beat two of NBC’s live musical stagings in the overnight numbers.
Grease: Live topped last year’s The Wiz Live (11.5 million) and 2014’s Peter Pan Live (9.2 million) (and the margins were even bigger in the young adult demo). Yet Grease couldn’t exceed (and, really, wasn’t expected to) broadcast’s first big 21st century live musical effort, 2013’s The Sound of Music Live, which stunned the industry and jump-started the whole live-musical surge by delivering 18.3 million viewers.
Early Numbers For Fox’s Grease: Live Are Strong
THR – Grease will be the word in the halls of Fox this week. The network’s three-hour live telecast of the musical was a ratings success.
Nielsen has the performance averaging 12.2 million viewers and a handsome 4.3 rating among adults 18-49. That’s after early numbers gave the performance a 7.4 overnight rating among households. Fox easily had first-place status on broadcast for the night and saw its score in the key demo rival TV’s biggest live musical in recent memory.
This being the network’s first live musical, its only ratings comparisons will be to NBC’s last three efforts. Topping the first of them, 2013’s The Sound of Music Live, was an all-but-impossible task. The show attracted 18.3 million live viewers and a 4.6 rating with adults 18-49 after an initial 10.9 overnight rating among households. 2014 follow-up Peter Pan sunk, but December’s The Wiz rebounded a bit with 11 million viewers.
Heading into Sunday night, falling in the ratings vicinity of The Wiz was the most realistic best-case scenario for Grease.
Based on ratings alone, Fox certainly has the motivation to make musicals an annual event as well — though, the general critical response sets an intimidatingly high bar. Director Thomas Kail, of Hamilton fame, brought quick praise for putting Grease on multiple soundstages and outdoor areas in front of a live audience.
Vanessa Hudgens Amazes Everyone With “Grease Live” Performance Hours After Father Passes Away
The old saying in showbiz has always been “The show must go on”. – If there was ever anyone who lived that motto it was Vanessa Hudgens. As FOX’s live production of the beloved musical “Grease” was underway Sunday night, word started spreading on social media that her father had passed away from cancer just hours before the broadcast.
Hudgens was determined to carry on with her performance. During a series of tweets she went on to dedicate her performance to her father.
I am so sad to say that last night my daddy, Greg passed away from stage 4 cancer. Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers.
— Vanessa Hudgens (@VanessaHudgens) January 31, 2016
Tonight, I do the show in his honor.
— Vanessa Hudgens (@VanessaHudgens) January 31, 2016
Her heart-wrenching performance and courage to go on with the broadcast has moved the hearts of celebrities and fans alike. As social media continues to share messages of support. Including former “High School Musical” co-stars.
I am devastated. Just thinking of my girl and praying for her strength today.
— Ashley Tisdale (@ashleytisdale) January 31, 2016
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Vanessa and her family during this time. – Trevor
Watch Jessie J And The “Grease Live” Cast Record “Grease Is The Word”
In a new full-length music video released on YouTube – We get an inside look at the recording session for the soundtrack to FOX’s “Grease Live” airing Sunday January 31. In the video we see Jessie J and the cast performing the opening number “Grease (is the word).
Watch Grease Live’s Aaron Tveit Sing “Popular” From Wicked
We’re days away from FOX’s “Grease Live”, aring on January 31. Watch Aaron Tveit perform the classic “Popular” from Wicked: The Musical.
Julianne Hough Talks “GREASE LIVE” With Jimmy Fallon
Julianne Hough’s is “freaking out” over being cast as Sandy for Fox’s Grease: Live.
Lyric Changes, New Song Added To FOX’s Grease Live
Deadline Hollywood: Fox’s Grease Live will include a new song written for Carly Rae Jepsen’s character Frenchy. But it’s the existing songs and some of their lyrics that seemed to interest TV critics most during Fox’s TCA panel to promote the project.
“Can you say ‘the chicks will cream’ and ‘pussy wagon’?” one critic wondered early in the conversation.
“We’re working really hard to get those lyrics out of our heads,” joked Aaron Tveit, who plays Danny. “Hopefully it doesn’t slip out.”
Not cut is the line “did she put up a fight,” but Tveit said the production will “try to have some fun with it rather than suggesting it’s something darker.” Also surviving: Rizzo’s pregnancy scare, according to Vanessa Hugdens, who plays the role, calling it “very important” to Rizzo’s storyline, though slightly “dark.”
Meanwhile, Didi Conn, who played Frenchy in the 1978 film adaptation of the early-’70s Broadway hit, will appear in Fox’s presentation as waitress Vi, who was played by Joan Blondell in the film. Also putting in an appearance is Barry Pearl, aka Doody from the pic.
Director Thomas Kail, who has a hit on his hand with Broadway’s Hamilton, said he hopes the production conveys “why theater has existed for thousands of years and always seems like it’s going away and never does. … It’s about coming together and having a communal experience.” He said he hopes this project projects a “celebration of live performance.”
Theater, “doesn’t have to be a bad word,” said Kail, who hopes, before long, TV finds room for five or six live theater productions a year.