Emmy Nominee Tommy Kail Proves ‘Grease’ (and ‘Hamilton’) Is Still the Word

Tommy Kail

Grease: Live! director Tommy Kail talks to ADTV about his Emmy nomination for Fox and Paramount TV’s smash hit

Tommy Kail followed up his Tony Award win with an Emmy nomination for the musical ratings juggernaut, Grease: Live! from Fox and Paramount TV. Clarence and Joey chatted with Kail about his successful season and what he plans to do next now that Hamilton made a killing at the Tonys.

Even though he’s been at the helm of two very large and different theatrical experiences, it’s very easy to chat with Tommy Kail. He speaks with an openness that only suggests a very collaborative environment on set, and that surely is responsible for his two highly successful directorial efforts.

Broadway’s Biggest Night

When asked about the Tony Awards ceremony, Kail compared it to a big theatrical party, and he commented on the strength of the entire Broadway season.

“It was a really robust season. There was some sort of perceptible shift that I hope continues. There seemed to be a lot of new voices, a lot of new artists, a lot of new people that hadn’t thought that Broadway was for them,” Kail said. “It showed that the tent was big. It felt like a big theatrical prom.”

Director Turned Audience Member

When he was asked if he had a particular moment that he loved watching, we talked about Keke Palmer’s quick change and about other projects. He seemed most grateful, however, about giving his cast and crew a chance to thank the audience back.

“I was really excited to have a curtain call. I loved the opportunity to kind of just throw this party at the end,” Kail said. “That ending finale moment was very satisfying.”

Returning to Hamilton

After September’s Emmy ceremonies, Kail plans to direct two more productions of the historical Lin-Manuel Miranda musical.

“I will be in New York City rehearsing the show for five weeks with a brand new company of actors, and then we go to Chicago in September. Our first performance is September 27th, and then we open October 19th. I’ll be Chicago for that month. I am in the process of casting our San Francisco/LA company right now.”

Have a listen to our full interview with Grease: Live!‘s Tommy Kail below or by subscribing to the Water Cooler Podcast on iTunes!

Tommy Kail
Kail (center) on the set of Grease: Live!

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