Rydell High, here we come. The buzz surrounding FOX’s first live-action musical, Grease: Live, has been building ever since the production was first announced back in April 2014—and it’s only gotten louder. Starring Julianne Hough as Sandy and Aaron Tveit as Danny, the 1950s high school musical has a lot to live up to when it comes to pleasing diehard fans of the 1978 classic, Grease. But with an all-star cast that includes Vanessa Hudgens, Keke Palmer, Carly Rae Jepson, and Kether Donohue as the badass Pink Ladies, we’re pretty much guaranteed to be singing along for three hours straight. Scroll down for five reasons we’re excited to tune in.
1. Anything can happen
You never know what might go down during a live performance. Not only will the show feature a live studio audience—a first for TV’s recent live musicals—but they’ll also be shooting outside of a building that’s serving as Rydell High throughout the production. And if the weather in Los Angeles doesn’t cooperate, the story could have an entirely different ending. “The fun part is that if it rains, we are just going to get wet,” costume designer William Ivey Long recently told InStyle. “And at the end, we go into the town square and have a carnival—and if it’s in the rain, we’ll just be singing in the rain!”
2. There are tons of cameos
The cast is already star-studded—but you don’t want to miss these cameos. While we’re still keeping our fingers crossed that the original Sandy, Olivia Newton-John, will take the stage, the show has plenty of special appearances in store. Jessie J will be kicking off the special with a new rendition of “Grease (Is the Word),” and Joe Jonas’s band, DNCE, will perform as Johnny Casino and the Gamblers during the school’s dance (Mario Lopez plays the dance competition’s emcee, Vince Fontaine). Plus, you’ll be seeing one familiar face from the original Grease. Didi Conn, who played Frenchy in the film, will make a short but sweet comeback appearing as the malt shop's waitress, Vi, in Grease: Live. And, according to one of Julianne Hough's Instagram posts, Conn and the new Frenchy, played by Carly Rae Jepson, will appear together in the same scene. “It’s pretty special,” wrote Hough. Yes, it certainly is.
3. Danny Zuko is going blonde
Aaron Tveit has lighter locks than John Travolta, who first played Danny Zuko in Grease. And while there were initial discussions about making Tveit's hair darker for the role, the dye-job was ultimately decided against. Which has us wondering: Will Tveit’s dirty blonde ‘do lend a totally different vibe to the role? For now, that remains TBD. But according to Long, Tveit’s onscreen pompadour is more James Dean than John Travolta, anyway. “Aaron is really channeling him with the look and the smile,” he said. “He makes a great James-Dean-as-Danny-Zuko.”
4. There’s new singalong-worthy music
We’re already excited for Jessie J’s opening performance of “Grease (Is the Word),” and it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the cast revamps classics like “Greased Lightnin’” and “You’re the One that I Want.” But there’s also fresh tunes to get pumped about. So far, we know that Carly Rae Jepson’s Frenchy will sing a brand new song called “Be My Angel,” which was written specifically for the FOX musical. Plus, KeKe Palmer will be performing a rendition of “Freddy My Love,” Marty’s song about her boyfriend who’s in the Korean War. Those who have seen Grease’s Broadway show would be familiar with the song, as it was performed onstage but not in the film.
5. The costumes are getting an update
Rydell High’s students are getting a modern makeover. Don’t worry—you’ll still be seeing Grease’s signature looks, like Sandy’s all-black bodysuit and tons of leather jackets. But rather than recreating the same exact looks from the original, Long wanted the special to simply be an homage to it. Expect to see Sandy and the Pink Ladies in more stretch fabrics as they rock overall sleeker getups, while the T-Birds will be steering clear of baggy jeans and bulky biker jackets, opting for more current Greaser looks instead. To see Long's original sketches of the looks plus get the scoop on each one, check out our full interview with the costume designer here.