Viewers would have forgiven Vanessa Hudgens for a slip-up or two when the High School Musical alum took the stage Sunday night for Grease: Live.
The reason fans knew the performance would be a difficult one for Hudgens was on Saturday, Vanessa lost her father after his bout with stage 4 cancer.
But viewers of Grease: Live would not have known the difficult circumstances that Hudgens performed under Sunday based on her performance, People wrote. Instead, viewers and actors alike quickly praised Vanessa for such a strong and stirring performance in the aftermath of her father’s tragic passing.
— Mario Lopez (@MarioLopezExtra) February 1, 2016
— Matthew Rodrigues (@RodriguesMatt) February 1, 2016
Included in the praise of her Grease: Live performance was tweets from High School Musical alums, both speaking of how proud there were of Vanessa Hudgens taking the stage despite mourning her father’s passing.
@VanessaHudgens Couldn't be more proud of and in awe of you! What you channeled tonight was magical! Your father is watching and smiling ❤️
— Corbin Bleu (@corbinbleu) February 1, 2016
— AshleyTisdaleFrench (@ashleytisdale) February 1, 2016
Vanessa had announced the news early Sunday morning via Twitter. Hudgens had originally shared details of her father’s illness last summer, Entertainment Weekly wrote.
I am so sad to say that last night my daddy, Greg passed away from stage 4 cancer. Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers.
— Vanessa Hudgens (@VanessaHudgens) January 31, 2016
In a subsequent tweet, Hudgens dedicated her performance on Grease: Live to her father’s memory. The show took up the cause, too, adding a special tribute at the end of the night to Vanessa and her father.
Hudgens fought back any sorrowful emotions she was feeling to deliver an outstanding performance in Grease: Live. Just hours before the show, Vanessa – in character – added a few videos to her Instagram account urging her fans to watch the live performance.
The star-studded cast for Grease: Live included Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Carly Rae Jepsen, Carlos PenaVega and Keke Palmer. Despite not having the premier role in the musical, several media outlets declared Hudgens as the starlet for the program. Entertainment Tonight took their praise of Vanessa even further, describing how remarkable her solo song was.
“Even in the face of personal tragedy, Hudgens’ smile, her laugh and her delivery never faltered for even a moment, and she added some extra spark to the already dazzling display. Additionally, her powerful and captivating performance of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” set the bar for solo numbers in the entire production.”
Prior to the show, Dancing With The Stars judge Julianna Hough took to Instagram to share her thoughts about the character Vanessa Hudgens portrayed in Grease: Live. Hough shared her heart-felt emotions on Rizzo just hours before taking the stage for the performance.
Hudgens perhaps channeled the strength she saw in Rizzo. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Vanessa had praised the Grease: Live character’s gritty attitude.
“I definitely watched [Grease] growing up. I feel like it always a part of my life. I mean, she’s [Rizzo] such an amazing part. Now that I’m older, I’m like, oh my God. She’s tough. She’s got grit.”
Vanessa also told People prior to the Grease: Live performance, the lasting impact the show had on her, even at a young age.
“From the first time I saw it, I kind of just remember it being a part of my childhood. I always knew all the songs. It’s just one of those musicals that you never get sick of because it’s so much fun. It feels like a big party and you get to be a part of it.”
But playing the part of Rizzo in Grease: Live was not something the actress envisioned, Hudgens confessed. After mulling it over, Vanessa agreed to the role.
“When I got the call saying that they were interested in me as Rizzo I said, really? Because I’ve always thought of myself as Sandy and the more that I thought over it, the more that I realized that this was an awesome opportunity to play a character that I’ve never played before she’s so strong and such an amazing woman figure in musical theater history.”
Before returning to the stage, Vanessa had made headlines for a reported tiff with High School Musical co-star Zac Efron. Reportedly, Hudgens would have stayed away from the 10-year reunion the cast had in January had Efron decided to attend, the Inquisitr wrote. Ultimately, a scheduling conflict kept Zac out of the reunion.
What do you think about the performance Vanessa Hudgens gave on Grease: Live Sunday night? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]