Grease: Live to feature new song, lyric changes, film cast
Finally, Frenchy gets a solo.
A new song has been written for Carly Rae Jepsen’s doomed beauty school dropout Frenchy in Fox’s upcoming telecast of Grease: Live. The announcement was made during the Grease: Live panel during the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena on Friday.
In the 1971 Broadway musical, all of the Pink Ladies have their own song except Frenchy. Instead, she gets to have a song sung about her — “Beauty School Dropout,” which is arguably one of theater’s best songs about encouraging someone to abandon their dreams. Frenchy’s new song is penned by music supervisor Tom Kitt and Brian Yorker, the composers behind If/Then and Next to Normal.
The Frenchy news continues: Didi Conn, who played the role in the film, will appear in Grease: Live as a waitress, alongside fellow co-star Barry Pearl, who played Doody in the 1978 movie.
Some other (magic) changes are afoot for Grease: Robert Cary and Jonathan Tolin have updated the script for the live telecast. The lyrics have been mildly softened—so don’t worry about your child hearing Danny Zuko say “the chicks will cream” on live television. “We’re working really hard to get those lyrics out of our heads,” said Aaron Tveit, who plays the leading T-Bird. “Hopefully it doesn’t slip out.”
Stage director Thomas Kail (Hamilton) tells EW the show will feature a flashback bookend structure wherein Jessie J will kick off the telecast with a performance of the title song, decidedly set in 2016, before the audience is transported back to the late ‘50s. How the telecast ends is still undetermined, flying car included.
The cast of Grease: Live includes Tveit, Jepsen, Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Keke Palmer, Carlos Penavega, Kether Donahue, Jordan Fisher, Andrew Call, David Del Rio, Ana Gasteyer, Mario Lopez, Boyz II Men, and Joe Jonas.
A new trailer for the telecast also dropped during the press tour:
Grease: Live airs on January 31 at 7 p.m. on Fox.