Watch All the 'Grease: Live!' Performances Here
However, the television production did restore material for the show's supporting cast. A few of the Grease stage songs that had been relegated to underscore in the film were put back into the mouths of characters for TV, most notably Marty's (Keke Palmer) "Freddy My Love" and Doody's (Jordan Fisher) "Those Magic Changes," the latter given a new slot as the backdrop for Danny Zuko's (Aaron Tveit) athletic montage. The Rydell High alma mater, which opened the original Broadway production, was incorporated into an early scene in the television version.
Those Magic Changes
Two brand-new songs were penned by songwriters Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), "All I Need Is an Angel" for Carly Rae Jepsen's Frenchy and "Maybe Baby," performed by Joe Jonas and DNCE, who served as the school dance band as Sha Na Na had in the film. DNCE's single "Cake by the Ocean" received a '50s revamp for use in the show as well.
'Grease: Live!' Burning Questions Answered
And taking advantage of having a dancer, Julianne Hough, in the role of Sandy, a new extended cheerleading sequence was created for her and Elle McLemore (as Patty Simcox), performed in front of a cheering, on-camera audience. Jessie J's rendition of the title song (from the film) was staged walking through the extensive production facilities to show off the scope of the operation at the top of the show.
Vanessa Hudgens Dedicating 'Grease: Live!' Performance to Late Father
The One That We Want
While it remains to be seen how Grease: Live! scored with audiences, the general consensus on social media was that the show was a success -- with famous fans including Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, Glee star Darren Criss, Anna Kendrick and more weighing in and applauding Vanessa Hudgens for triumphing in the show as Rizzo just one day after the death of her father from cancer (the Grease: Live! production was dedicated in his honor).
Even as viewers leant their snark toward the sexual politics of 1950s teenagers, the cast, camera work, choreography, and direction were all praised effusively. The presence of a live audience, though distracting during some scenes, added tremendous energy to the musical numbers and made for a particularly thrilling finale, staged on a full-sized carnival as in the film. It seems that Fox has captured "Greased Lightnin'" in a bottle, and the live television musical, like rock'n'roll, is here to stay.