Danny and Sandy forever! Rydell High’s cutest couple – played by Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit this time around – cuddle up as they rehearse on one of the film’s diner sets. Unsurprisingly, between the set, the music and her leading man’s charm, Hough had no problem swooning over Tveit. “He’s just so charming and talented,” she tells PEOPLE. “His voice – I could listen to it all day. We have most of our scenes together and he makes it really fun.”
Luckily for fans of Grease, Tveit feels the exact same way about his co-star. “Her energy is infectious,” he gushes to PEOPLE about Hough. “She’s so sweet and fun. That makes doing our scenes together a good time.” Which means that we’ll definitely have a good time watching the show.
T-BIRDS OF A FEATHER
“I really feel like we’ve become brothers,” Carlos PenaVega, who plays Kenickie, the T-Birds second-in-command, tells PEOPLE about his co-stars (from left, David Del Rio, Jordan Fisher, Tveit and Andrew Call). “We’re excited to get here every day and work together. We hang out outside of set. After the holidays, I couldn’t wait to get back here to hang out again.”
The show’s Pink Ladies – Hough, Kether Donohue as Jan, Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo, Keke Palmer as Marty and Carly Rae Jepsen as Frenchie – have had an equally exciting bonding experience: “Creating together and getting to rehearse this as we would a Broadway show has created a really strong bond between all of us,” Hudgens reveals. “Getting to work on such a fun show and sing these songs together, you can’t help fall in love with each other.” (Sorry, T-Birds!)
TELL US ABOUT IT, STUD
Of course, all of that on-set camaraderie has also helped the cast quell any pre-show nerves and worries over how fans of the iconic 1978 film will receive their interpretations of Danny, Sandy and the rest of Rydell High. “Grease is a show that everyone knows but we are doing our best to pay homage to the versions that people know but we are also making it our own and creating something completely new,” says Tveit.
THE ONE THAT I WANT
“It’s surreal to be living out moments that I know so well from the movie,” says Hough, pictured here rehearsing a scene with Tveit in Danny’s car. “Olivia Newton-John did such an amazing job and there are definitely moments that I will be doing things in her spirit but I’m also going to make sure to bring myself to the role.”
KEKE MY LOVE
Part of making Grease their own for the live telecast includes cast and crew adding new musical numbers, making a few tweaks to the script and combining elements from the stage show and the movie. One such element includes a solo for Marty from the musical that allows Palmer to take center stage: “I think people are going to be surprised by ‘Freddy My Love’ because it’s in the musical but it’s not in the movie,” says Palmer, pictured rehearsing her big number with Jepsen, Hudgens and Donohue. “The way we are introducing it is really fun. We weren’t sure we were going to be able to pull it off logistically but it looks like it’s going to all work out and be amazing.”
Despite all of the changes, there will still be iconic Grease touchstones that fans can look out for – notably, the Pink Ladies’ matching jackets. “Getting to know all these girls has been one of the best parts of the process. And as we become friends, it improves the show,” Jepsen tells PEOPLE. “Suddenly we aren’t just actors pretending to be classmates, we’re friends who are really comfortable with each other.” And yes, that does include teaching each other new dance moves and killing time by French-braiding their hair.