10 Things I Learned (And Loved!) at the Grease Live! Event
August 16th, 2016
by Josh Ferri
On August 15, Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda hosted a panel discussion at the Edison Ballroom with the creative team (directors Tommy Kail and Alex Rudzinski, costume designer William Ivey Long, casting director Bernard Tesley, and star Aaron Tveit) behind the 10-time Emmy-nominated Grease Live! There were laughs, there were clips, and there were surprises. Here are 10 things I learned at the Grease Live! panel discussion.
There was a moment where director Alex Rudzinski considered racing the cars for real on the streets of LA.
Casting director Bernard Telsey said they knew immediately they wanted diversity in this Grease. “We are not worrying about the time frame.”
"[Aaron Tveit] got all the internet pregnant at the same time,” Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Because they worked together on Broadway's Cinderella, William Ivey Long knew Keke Palmer could do anything. She did the big "Freddy My Love" change alone with no help from dressers.
Aaron Tveit “leaned on the Les Miz movie” for Grease Live! Prepping for the movie the way you would for stage then turning everything to the camera.
Aaron almost “torched” his voice pumping up the rehearsal crowd.
Tommy Kail is “in awe of the storytelling” happening in “Hand Jive”, like Rizzo telling the camera operator to get Sandy because she knew Sandy wasn’t supposed to be at the dance. For Tveit, “Watching it back is very emotional. 400 people were committed to this thing and no one dropped the ball. No other experience as an actor was like the 25 minutes being in that gym.”
The fifth ever run-through of the show was the live airing. It was the third time in front of an audience.
“Those Magic Changes” blends a song from the play that wasn’t sung in the movie with a sequence from the film [Danny trying out for all the sports] that doesn’t appear in the play. It was all filmed in one shot and Tommy Kail said, “It was absolute mayhem outside that shot.”
The big 11 o'clock showstopper in the musical about William Ivey Long’s life would be “I Am Changing”. #DropMic