‘Grease Live’ Cast Recording to Release on Night of Premiere

TCA 2016: Soundtrack will feature brand new song sung by Carly Rae Jepsen, who plays Frenchie

Fox’s “Grease Live” will feature the best of both the stage musical and the film version, according to cast and creators, and in the spirit of musical adaptations, will feature a brand new original song.

The song was written by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, the team behind Broadway musical “Next to Normal,” and will be sung during the live event by Carly Rae Jepsen, who plays Frenchie.

Though the event is live, the cast is recording an album beforehand, which will be available for download on the night of the premiere.

“Grease Live” stars Aaron Tveit as Danny and Julianne Hough as Sandy, and also stars Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo, Keke Palmer as Marty, Kether Donahue as Jan and Carlos Penavega as Kenickie.

Hough is the only cast member to have met an actor who previously played the same role.

“I actually Olivia [Newton-John] a couple of times, she was a guest judge on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in November,” she recalled during the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “When I met her, I didn’t even say anything first, she just said, ‘I heard you’re playing Sandy, oh my goodness, congratulations, you’re perfect for it,’ and I was just like, almost started crying. This is my hero, this is my five year old dream, so for her to give me that blessing…. I hope I make her proud, it gave me this opening to discover Sandy for myself and still honor what Olivia did. I hope she’s watching and John [Travolta] and everyone. She’s better than you’d hope she would be.”

Some on the panel likened the recent popularity of live musical television events as a resurgence of musical theater. But director Thomas Kail,who directed Broadway’s “Hamilton,” thinks theatre is timeless.

“There’s a reason theatre has existed for thousands of years. It always seems like it’s going away but it never does,” he said. “Because we all want to sit around the campfire together and have someone tell us a story. The campfire now might be a 42 inch television, but it’s about coming together and having a community experience. Our hope is sharing this with the kid in Spokane… Everybody up here at some point in their life, saw someone perform, heard a song, went to go see something, and said, ‘maybe this is for me, maybe this is my tribe.’ So that to me is what I’ve been thinking about, how much more this has in common than it is disparate… I think it would be great if they were doing revivals of plays and new shows live on TV four or five times a year. We’re just part of this larger continuum. Broadway doesn’t have to be a bad word. This doesn’t have to be something that’s used to put something else in a box. It’s really a celebration of live theatre, whether it’s on stage or television.”

Grease: Live” airs Sunday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. ET on Fox.