First Look: Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit & Vanessa Hudgens in “Grease Live!”

Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit in Grease Live!

FOX has shared the first peek of Danny (Aaron Tveit), Sandy (Julianne Hough), and Rizzo (Vanessa Hudgens) from their upcoming live version of Grease.

I think this looks great! Clearly, the producers are paying respectful homage to the enormously successful 1978 film starring Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing. I like that.

Btw – I hear there may be a cameo from a certain “Pink Lady” in the upcoming television presentation. Wanna guess who?

Grease LIVE! will air on January 31 on FOX.

Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Hudgens

Julianne Hough as “Good Sandy” in Grease Live!

News Roundup – January 17, 2015

Dot Marie Jones as “Coach Beiste”

A few news stories you might have missed:

• GLEE’s Dot Marie Jones (“Coach Beiste”) revealed this week that her character will transition from woman to man in a transgender story arc in the series’ final season.

• Climate change deniers should take note: 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history.

• Fox has announced “Grease: Live” – a live TV adaptation of the hit musical – will star Julianne Hough (“Dancing with the Stars”) as “Sandy,” and Vanessa Hudgens (“High School Musical”) as “Rizzo.”

• A pastor in Denver has attempted to ensnare a pro-LGBT baker with charges of discrimination because she wouldn’t bake a cake in the shape of a Bible with the words “God hates fags.”

GREASE Reunion In Las Vegas – Didi Conn Onstage With Olivia Newton-John

Saturday night, actress Didi Conn, who played “Frenchie” in the hit movie Grease, reunited with Olivia Newton-John on stage during her show at Flamingo Las Vegas, where together they sang “Summer Nights.”

Slipping back into a Pink Ladies jacket, Didi delighted the audience and brought them to their feet in a rousing standing ovation.

Following the show, Didi went backstage to visit and take photos with Olivia.

Live TV version of GREASE in development by FOX

Following in the footsteps of NBC’s Sound of Music Live, Fox announced Monday that it is staging a three-hour production of the iconic musical to air in 2015.

From Variety:

Fox has added a three-hour live production of “Grease” to its 2015 calendar, Fox Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly announced today.

Currently titled “Grease Live,” this production of the iconic Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs musical about 1950s high schoolers will feature an as-yet-to-be-named young ensemble cast.

Paramount released the 1978 feature rendition of “Grease,” which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, and still controls the TV rights. The studio last year relaunched its TV production operation and has said that mining the library for remakes is a key priority.

Here’s the press release from FOX:

Get ready to do the hand jive as FOX enrolls at Rydell High with GREASE LIVE (working title), a LIVE three-hour production of the massively popular crossover musical “Grease,” it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX); and Paramount Television. Scheduled to air LIVE during 2015 and featuring a young ensemble cast, GREASE LIVE (wt) will reintroduce the great music and timeless story to an entirely new generation.

Based on the 1971 Broadway musical of the same name with book, lyrics and music by the legendary team of Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs, the 1978 hit film “Grease,” starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, grossed nearly $400 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing movie musical ever.

“From Broadway to film, and across generations, ‘Grease’ is one of the most beloved musical stories ever told – and we can’t wait to bring it to our air in a spectacular live event,” said Shana C. Waterman, Senior Vice President of Event Series for FOX. “Its iconic characters and addictive songs make it the perfect fit for FOX, and we’re going to give it the kind of star power and production quality to make every Sandy, Danny, Rizzo and Kenickie out there want to get up and sing along.”

“It’s incredibly exciting to have one of our first major network productions be based on this universally celebrated Paramount title, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Kevin, Joe and Shana on this epic television event,” said Amy Powell, President, Paramount TV. “FOX’s passion for engaging audiences with bold storytelling and live musical formats make it a perfect home for this special broadcast.”

GREASE LIVE will electrify television audiences everywhere with live performances of the unforgettable Casey/Jacobs songs “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’” and “We Go Together”; as well as the iconic songs written by John Farrar, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and ”You’re the One That I Want.” The broadcast will reimagine some of the story’s most memorable moments and characters from the T-Birds and Pink Ladies, including DANNY ZUKO, RIZZO and SANDY.

Comedy genius Sid Caesar passes away at 91

Sid Caesar with Imogene Coca  on “Your Show of Shows”

Comedy great and star of the iconic 1950s TV series “Your Show of Shows” Sid Caesar has died at the age of 91.

From USA Today:

One of television’s original comic stars, Sid Caesar, has died. He was 91 and at home in Los Angeles, according to his friend and former collaborator, Carl Reiner, reports Reuters.

His biographer and friend, Eddy Friedfeld, confirmed the news to the Los Angeles Times. Friedfeld told the paper Caesar died after a brief illness.

Caesar broke TV ground with his now-classic sketch series, Your Show of Shows, which co-starred Imogene Coca and Reiner and ran on NBC from 1950-54. Caesar’s Hour followed and ran through 1957.

Caesar charmed later generations with his turn has the rangy, lovable Coach Calhoun in the Grease movies.

Sid Caesar in the mega-hit movie musical “Grease”

Life lessons from the movie GREASE

Buzzfeed has looked at the movie Grease and realized that all you need to know about life can be found in the most successful movie musical of all time.

Here are just 6.  Head over to Buzzfeed for 16 more “life lessons” from Grease.

1. Smoking is cool.

2. It’s OK to kiss and tell, as long as it’s in song.

3. Your guardian angel will show up once you screw up your life sufficiently.

4. If a boy really likes you, he’ll act insane for several minutes.

5. And all your friends will join in!

6. Cars can fly.

(via Buzzfeed)

James Franco GREASE tribute footage in REM’s new video

Two years ago some footage was leaked of a possible GREASE sequence with James Franco and Anne Hathaway during their unfortunate Academy Awards hosting gig. It looks like it’s now turned up in a new video for R.E.M.’s song “That Someone Is You’ – with Franco as Danny Zuko and perhaps Anne Hathaway (with a big kitty head) as Sandy.

Not sure what the symbolism is with the cat head. What do you guys think?

(via Towleroad)