Vanessa Hudgens will play Rizzo in Grease: Live on the Fox Network in 2016.
Vanessa Hudgens will play Rizzo in Grease: Live on the Fox Network in 2016.
(© David Gordon)

Hamilton director Thomas Kail will stage the upcoming Fox network production of the classic musical Grease. Kail will oversee the theatrical direction of the telecast, while Alex Rudzinski (Dancing With the Stars) will serve as director of the live broadcast. Marc Platt (Wicked) serves as executive producer.

As previously announced, Grease: Live will star Vanessa Hudgens (Gigi) as Pink Lady leader Betty Rizzo, with Julianne Hough (the film versions of Rock of Ages and Footloose) as Sandy. Additional casting will be announced in the coming months.

Airing July 31 on the Fox network, Grease: Live is a production of Paramount Television. The broadcast is expected to be based on the original stage musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey and its 1978 screen adaptation.

Grease made its Broadway debut in 1972, with Barry Bostwick, Carole Demas, and Adrienne Barbeau leading the cast. A 1994 revival starred Ricky Paull Goldin as Danny, Susan Wood as Sandy, and Rosie O'Donnell as Rizzo. An NBC television reality show cast the leads of a 2007 Broadway revival, with competition winners Laura Osnes and Max Crumm as Sandy and Danny. The original film starred John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and Stockard Channing.