Grease Live and television’s best musical shows
It seems like bringing musical theatre to television is just getting more and more popular. Before Christmas, ITV treated us to a fabulous live performance of The Sound of Music. It was so awesome that the United States clearly wanted some of the action, and tonight at 8pm ITV2 is airing the recording of FOX’s Grease Live, which took place over the weekend.
To celebrate Grease Live coming to British screens tonight, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite television musicals and some of our favourite musical numbers.
The seminal television musical, Glee was the first show to break out of the constraints of the format during an unstoppable first season in 2009. Ridiculous high school storylines topped with cheesy nineties hits made this series a firm favourite until it became a tangled mess of relationship storylines, guest stars and songs we’d never heard of.
The extraordinary musical sensation hitting the States is the fairytale-themed musical comedy Galavant, which is a bit Monty Python meets Game of Thrones. Featuring songs created by eight-time Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken, Galavant is a giant of its genre. It also features one of the most impressive guest star rosters of any show ever, including Kylie Minogue, Matt Lucas, Hugh Bonneville, Ricky Gervais, Sheridan Smith, Robert Lindsay and many more!
Crazy Ex Girlfriend
This is the tale of the ever-so-slightly psycho ex-girlfriend Rebecca Bunch, who quits her incredibly successful career in law on a whim to chase after her former boyfriend from summer camp. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is everything you imagine it to be with that title and massively enhanced by some hilarious original musical numbers (see below).
Empire is a serious drama with some seriously good hip hop tracks, but what else did we expect from a show whose score is supervised by Timbaland? Loosely based off Shakespeare’s King Lear, Empire tells the story of a dying record label owner who must choose which of his three sons to leave his legacy to. Each son has his own valuable credentials, and there’s a lot of singing about the whole kerfuffle.
The musical-drama with staying power (so far) – Nashville follows the complicated lives and careers of ageing country music star Rayna Jaymes and up-and-coming country pop sensation Juliette Barnes. It’s set in the home of country and western and features music by real artists in Nashville, so the show has a really authentic quality to its music while being shockingly good fun to watch.
Smash was a short hit, a rival for Glee, which showed incredible promise back on NBC in 2012. The series followed an aspiring group of hitmakers who were trying to create the next smash hit musical on Broadway, and their hectic private lives outside of the theatre.
Grease Live airs tonight (Wednesday February 3) on ITV2 at 8pm.