As they say, the show must go on… and it did. The cast of Grease Live had been rehearsing and planning for last night’s show for months. Vanessa Hudgens, cast as Rizzo, found out just hours before air that her father had died. Hudgens announced the sad news on Twitter that her 65-year-old dad, Greg Hudgens, had passed away from stage 4 cancer.
“I am so sad to say that last night my daddy, Greg passed away from stage 4 cancer. Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers.”
Despite that sad news, Hudgens turned in a star-making performance. In her, Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee number (below), there’s a paint by number horse on the wall, which I was particularly happy to see. I am an artist that uses vintage paint by number to create my work (I have 3000) and had noticed that in the original ’78 film, when Stockard Channing does the same number, there’s also a prominent PBN horse. Set decoration detail; A+.
The rest of show went off seemingly with only one major hitch, when I was watching. The sound was the biggest issue in several of the scenes, during Sandy’s big emotional song it was the worst. But Hamilton director Thomas Kail mounted a major feat of technical direction using a live audience and often pulling back the curtain to show the cameras and sets and actors running to their next greased lightening-fast change. Carly Rae Jepsen as Frency was another standout (as were Danny’s biceps!)
By the finalé, when the cast drove trams out to a school carnival exterior, all comparisons with the original movie had been erased and it was just pure joy. I loved it. (And that Aaron Tveit is SEXY as AF!)