Grease Live Fox
Courtesy of Fox

Fox takes its first bow into the live television musical arena with “Grease Live” tonight, and though the musical is a one-night-only event, the TV special has been a hefty production ever since it went into development over a year ago.

“Our first rehearsal with dancers was in mid-November, and with the full principal cast was Nov. 30 so from then to Jan. 1, we were in the rehearsal studio and then on Jan. 4, we moved here,” “Grease Live” director Thomas Kail told Variety at an early morning rehearsal on the Warner Bros. lot in L.A. Touting the cast and crew, he added, “Their learning curve has been very steep.”

With just a few hours ’til showtime, Fox has shared some stats with Variety, showcasing exactly what it takes to put on a major primetime live musical.

Run time of the show: 3-hour broadcast

Days of rehearsal: 52

Number of song/dance numbers in the musical: 23

Number of stages: 2 sound stages, plus the entire Warner Bros. backlot and built-out exterior locations throughout the lot

Number of sets: 21 

Number of cameras: 20

Number of cast members: 24 principal cast members, 20 ensemble and dancers

Number of extras: 60

Number of live audience members: 650

Number of costumes: More than 600 — 407 for principal cast, Boyz II Men, DNCE and Jessie J; 226 for background ensemble and dancers

Breakdown of costumes: 60% vintage; 40% custom made

Number of quick changes during live show: 392 quick changes — just for principal cast alone!

Record quick changes during one single number: Danny and Doody each have 5 costume changes during the song “Magic Changes”

Quickest quick change: 11 seconds for Rizzo, Frenchy and Jan

Number of people in the control room during the live show: at least 40

Number of staff members working the set the night of the show: More than 200

  • 13 camera operators
  • 15 stage managers
  • 11 audio mixers
  • 25 audio assistants
  • 7 communications directors
  • 15 camera utilities
  • 30 costumers
  • 36 riggers and electricians

 

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