Thomas Kail ’99, who is currently directing the blockbuster hit Hamilton on Broadway, written by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, brought the energy of live theater to the small screen as he set the stage direction for Grease: Live, a musical extravaganza starring Julianne Hough as Sandy and Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo, along with Aaron Tveit as Danny, Carly Rae Jepson as Frenchy, Mario Lopez as Vince Fontaine and Boys II Men in the role of Teen Angel. The musical, which was staged in front of a live audience, aired on Fox on Jan. 31.
Kail told the New York Times that he signed on to direct Grease: Live because while he continues to enjoy his work in theater, he loves the idea of being part of the movement of musicals on television. “I deeply believe that theater should be for everyone,” he told the newspaper. “I want people to do new plays on television.”