During our recent webcam chat (watch above), “Grease: Live” director Thomas Kail expressed his pride in receiving his first Emmy nomination in terms of the show’s overall tally (10). “I’m part of this much larger squad,” he says, “and the fact that so many different people from our show were nominated, that the show itself was nominated and recognized, and that the work of the whole was acknowledged, was the most meaningful thing.”
“Grease” began life on Broadway in 1972 before being turned into a film in 1978 that still ranks as the highest grossing movie musical of all time. For this live television broadcast, the director reveals, “I wanted to show the wiring. I wanted us to be aware not only that we were making it live, but how we were making it live.”
He shares this nomination with “Dancing with the Stars” helmer Alex Rudzinski. “I didn’t want to make a show and have Alex come in and figure out how to capture it,” he divulges, explaining that the TV vet was involved from the very beginning. “We were building the world for it to exist on television live in that way,” he adds, which allowed the show to feel “organic and unified.”
Kail won his first Tony Award this year for directing the Broadway smash “Hamilton,” which won 11 of its record-breaking 16 nominations. “You figure by the law of averages, some people are going to come home with some statues and some aren’t,” he recalls of the ceremony, “but we were all there together so no matter what happened, we were just so thrilled to be in building.”
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