‘Grease: Live!’ Recap: Fox Pulls Off The Musical With Stars Julianne Hough & Aaron Tveit
Grease: Live!, Fox’s first foray into the modern age of live TV musicals, premiered last night on the network with former Dancing with the Stars pro Julianne Hough as Sandy, Broadway veteran Aaron Tveit as Danny Zucko and Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo.
Grease: Live! Recap
The musical event kicked off before a green screen, with Sandy and Danny kissing in front of a generic seascape. As the story goes, they’ve fallen for each other on a summer vacation, and are sad to have to say goodbye and return to their respective lives – not knowing that they’ll both be starting the upcoming fall semester of high school at Rydell High.
The first musical number of the night is sung by Jessie J, who powers through “Grease Is the World,” while walking through the backstage area to outside on the studio grounds – despite the rain. Then the bell rings, and the students rush into the high school building, where Danny is hitting on a coed at her locker. After his game falls flat, he catches up with the T-Birds, including Carlos PenaVega as Kenickie and Jordan Fisher as Doody.
Also in the hallway are the Pink Ladies – Rizzo, Marty (Keke Palmer), Frenchie (Carly Rae Jepsen) and Jan (Kether Donohue). After Principal McGee heads to her office, Jan scarfs down a Twinkie and gets an earful from her pals. Marty also takes some ribbing from the girls for spending her summer vacation at a trailer park. All the talk comes to a halt, however, when Sandy arrives.
At the gym later, Sandy formally introduces herself to the girls, revealing that she’s from Salt Lake City, Utah and that she fell in love with a boy over the summer, which means it’s time for Sandy and Danny duet “Summer Nights.” After the song, Sandy tells the girls all about the Danny Zucko who is an honor roll student at a boarding school. She then battles it out against Patty Simcox (Elle McLemore) in a cheer-off.
Afterwards, Rizzo decides Sandy needs to meet the real Danny, and things couldn’t go worse with him acting aloof in front of the T-Birds. Taking Sandy under their wing, the Pink Ladies have her join them for a sleepover party. After Marty sings “Freddy My Love,” Sandy ends up sick in the bathroom. While Sandy is getting herself together, Rizzo sings the mocking “Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee” before escaping the sleepover for Kenickie.
In the garage, the guys are hard at work on the car then jump into “Greased Lightening.” Eve Plumb, who played Jan Brady on The Brady Bunch, makes a cameo appearance.
At the malt shop, Sandy, who has given up on her summer love, is on a date with Tom, while Rizzo hits on Danny. Danny brushes her off to go apologize to Sandy, who plays it cool. Then it’s time for Doody to sing “Those Magic Changes.” Later on, after Frenchie wonders about whether or not she should have stuck it out in beauty school, Boys II Men comes out as the Teen Angels to sing “Beauty School Dropout.”
Back at school the next day, Danny struggles in all of the sports at gym. Despite his obvious lack of athleticism, Sandy decides it’s time to give her summer love a second chance and go with him to the National Bandstand dance contest. During the dance, however, Sandy proves a bit shy in front of the cameras, so Danny pairs up with Cha Cha – and wins. Joe Jonas and his new band DNCE were the dance performers.
Dejected after the dance, Sandy returns to her home and belts out ballad “Hopelessly Devoted.” A week later, Sandy gives Danny one more chance and takes him up on a date offer. Things seem to be going well, with him even giving her a ring, but then Danny gets a bit too handsy with Sandy in the drive-in movie and she takes off. Danny, who doesn’t get what went wrong, then sings “Sandy.”
After Rizzo confesses she’s pregnant to Marty, who then tells everyone else, Sandy stands up for her against the more judgmental Patty. Hudgens as Rizzo then brings the house down with the powerful “There Are Worse Things I Could Do.”
Since Danny knocked out Kenickie, he’ll be the one driving in the road race against Scorpion. Thanks to Eugene souping up the car, he has enough of an advantage to pull out the win. For his work on the ride, Eugene gets his T-Bird leather jacket.
The Carnival the following day sees Rizzo reveal she’s not actually pregnant, Danny don a sweater and Sandy sport leggings, a leather jacket and voluminous hair. The cast then closes out the musical with “We’ll Always Be Together.”