TV Club: For better or for worse, Grease: Live revolutionizes the live TV musical

Grease is a terrible musical. Its gender politics are troubling, its plot is meandering, and its music ranges from generic to nonsensical (What the hell does “Grease is the way we are feeling” mean?). Grease is the kind of vapid, upbeat, soulless show that makes people think all musical theater is, well, vapid, upbeat, and soulless. So director Tommy Kail—who’s almost certainly going to win a Tony for his work on Hamilton—and broadcast director Alex Rudzinsk—who cut his teeth on Dancing With The Stars—had an uphill battle to fight in bringing the musical to life on TV. And while they couldn’t do much about Grease‘s so-so story, they at least elevated the musical’s style with remarkable confidence. Unlike NBC’s previous stage-bound live musicals, Fox’s Grease: Live was a 360 degree event that blended theatricality and filmmaking in ways never seen …

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