DNCE, according to EW.com, will play Johnny Casino and the Gamblers, "the questionably wholesome school dance band that takes the stage at Rydell’s high school hop." Sha Na Na portrayed the group in the 1978 film.
As previously reported, the close-harmony a cappella singing group Boyz II Men will collectively play the role of Teen Angel; the R&B trio perform the paean to staying in high school, "Beauty School Dropout." The role was played by singer Frankie Avalon in the film version of the Broadway musical, which pays homage to pop culture of the 1950s.
Casting a trio as the angel is only one of several changes they are making in the show. Korins and Kail said that for specific scenes — like the dance in the gymnasium, out front of Rydell High and during the pep rally — real audience members would populate the theatrical world of Grease and be able to "give back" during the performance. "It’s a four-wall set, so there’s a 360 degree opportunity for us to explore where they will function both as an audience and also as the people that would be populating the outside of a dance," said Kail, adding that they will be visible on screen for the viewing audience watching the broadcast.
You'll Get 1950's Fever From These First Costumed Shots of All the Grease: Live Stars!
The cast for Grease: Live will be led by Julianne Hough as Sandy, Aaron Tveit as Danny Zuko, Andrew Call as Sonny, David Del Rio as Putzie, Kether Donohue as Jan, Jordan Fisher as Doody, Ana Gasteyer as Principal, Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo, Carly Rae Jepsen as Frenchie, Mario Lopez as Vince Fontaine, Carlos PenaVega as Kenickie, Eve Plumb as Mrs. Murdock and KeKe Palmer as Marty.
Watch a promotional trailer for the TV presentation below:
Broadway writers Robert Cary and Jonathan Tolins are writing the television adaptation based on the original musical Grease by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, and Paramount Pictures’ 1978 feature adaptation.