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Aaron Tveit Cast as Lead in FOX’s ‘Grease: Live’

Aaron Tveit is taking a break from Graceland to attend Rydell High.

Tveit has been cast as Danny Zuko in FOX’s upcoming live version of Grease, the classic Broadway play that was turned into an iconic film in 1978.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be joining this incredibly talented team of actors in re-imagining this classic and beloved musical,” Tveit said in a statement. “Playing Danny Zuko is a dream role and I can’t wait to be a part of all the fun that comes along with performing live on television.”

He joins a cast that includes Julianne Hough as Sandy, Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo, and Carlos PenaVega (Big Time Rush) as Kenickie. From a musical standpoint, Tveit is the most experienced of the cast, having starred on Broadway in productions such as Catch Me If You Can, and in films such as the 2012 film version of Les Misérables. Currently, he’s the star of USA Network’s Graceland as FBI Agent Mike Warren, a part which is about as far from a musical as you can get. For her part, Hough starred in the big screen adaptation of Broadway hit Rock of Ages.

Aaron Tveit Cast as Lead in FOX's 'Grease Live'

Credit: USA Network

From a certain standpoint, I can appreciate the talent of everyone involved, as this is clearly a talented cast. But seeing them all play high school kids feels like a bit of a stretch, more so than usual. Then again, Stockard Channing was 33 at the time of the original Grease film, while leads John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were 23 and 28, respectively. So while Tveit may be an older Danny Zuko, at the age of 31, Hough and Hudgens are both — at age 26 — younger than their big-screen counterparts.

But really, age won’t matter that much as long as the actors can play the parts. I’m eager to see if Hough can nail the Australian accent, or if they’ll change the character in some way to accommodate her. Either way, the singing and dancing parts are certainly within her wheelhouse, ditto the rest of the cast, particularly Tveit, who’s been doing this sort of thing forever. I’m looking forward to seeing this production.

Grease: Live airs on FOX on Jan. 31, 2016.

But what do you think of the casting news? Sound off in the comments!

And for more on network musicals, check out our report on NBC’s newest live musical production!

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