'Grease: Live': Who will play Frenchy?

Fox is airing a live production of the musical 'Grease' this January. Is adding more star power to the cast which already includes Aaron Tveit and Julianne Hough.

Joshua Paul/AP
Carly Rae Jepsen performs at the MTV World Stage Live in Petaling Jaya in 2015.

More cast members have been added to Fox’s upcoming “Grease: Live” production. 

“Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen has reportedly been cast in the show as Frenchy, best friend to the female lead Sandy (Julianne Hough). Jepsen starred in the title role of the Broadway production “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in 2014. 

In addition, Kether Donohue, who stars in the “Pitch Perfect” film series, has signed on to portray Sandy and Frenchy’s friend Jan, while David Del Rio, who also starred in “Pitch Perfect,” is playing Putzie, a friend of male lead Danny (Aaron Tveit)’s.

“High School Musical” actress Vanessa Hudgens, current “Dancing With the Stars” contender Carlos PenaVega, and singer Keke Palmer are also part of the production. Hudgens is cast as Frenchy’s friend, Rizzo, PenaVega will portray Danny’s best friend Kenickie, and Palmer has the role of Sandy and Frenchy’s friend, Marty.

“Grease” debuted on Broadway in 1972 and was adapted into a popular 1978 movie of the same name starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

Fox is airing its live production of the show following the success of NBC’s live musicals. NBC aired “The Sound of Music Live!” during the holiday season in 2013 and the production got huge ratings. NBC followed last year with “Peter Pan Live!,” which aired during the same time of year, and the show still did well in the ratings, though not at the level of “Music.” 

This year, NBC’s latest entry in the genre will be “The Wiz Live!,” which is scheduled to air this December. 

Musicals aren’t the only programs getting live treatment on broadcast networks now. Networks always want to pull in viewers with shows that could be viewed as “appointment viewing” (not watched the next day on the DVR), and networks no doubt think a show being live adds an element of suspense.

“Sound of Music” producer Neil Meron played up this aspect before “Music” aired, saying in an interview, “They have to keep going…. Somebody could trip and fall, somebody could forget their lines, somebody could hit a bad note when they are singing – anything could happen.” 

Other efforts to produce live programming outside of the live musicals include NBC’s projects “Undateable,” which is a sitcom that the network airs live and which will debut its new season on Oct. 9, and “Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris,” which is a live variety show currently on the air. “Best” has gotten fairly good ratings so far. 

Fox’s production of “Grease” will air this January.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.