Beautiful actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens is dedicating her Grease: Live! performance Sunday night (Jan. 31) to her father, who passed away Saturday after battling 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,” Hudgens tweeted Sunday morning. “Tonight, I do the show in his honor.”
Hudgens portrayed Rizzo in Grease: Live! on Fox, alongside Julianne Hough as Sandy and Broadway star Aaron Tveit as Danny. The cast also includes Carly Rae Jepsen as Frenchy, Keke Palmer as Marty, Dancing With the Stars contestant Carlos Penavega as Kenickie, as well as Mario Lopez, among others.
Fox’s Grease: Live for director Thomas Kail was his coming of age party. Jessie J, singing “Grease Is The Word,” navigated her way from a stage, through a living, working backstage, out into a street populated by umbrella-toting extras, serenaded the studio audience and hit her final mark in a single uninterrupted take. It didn’t matter for a second that Jessie J was out of breath maybe halfway through her journey. Melody is something that can wait for the cast recording to go up on iTunes. This production wasn’t about hitting notes or taking breath, but rather about making things breathtaking.
And time after time, Grease: Live succeeded. Hudgens by far was the best performer. Julianne Hough is adorable and can dance, but singing isn’t her highest point, and she’d better stick to her day job. Overall the production gets an A!
Aaron Tveit and Julianne Hough had their name above the Grease: Live title, re-creating the roles made famous on screen by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. But it was future Hamilton Tony winner Kail who was the biggest star on Sunday night.