Over the past weeks, we've taken a look at the long and starry road the Musical of the Month, Grease has taken. The original production made stars, the 1994 revival made stars and celebrated established stars from many areas of entertainment. This week, we look at the most recent revival of the show, which is a hybrid of both casting styles. In fact, the 2007 version is so early 21st century, having been created from a realty show.
That reality show, Grease: You're The One That I Want, really worked, giving us two bonafide Broadway stars in Laura Osnes and Max Crumm. Their replacements, Ashley Spencer and the late Derek Keeling, were runners-up from that show. Later casting would include other reality show folk, including American Idol's Ace Young and Taylor Hicks. The author of the show, Jim Jacobs, also joined the show for a time.
Laura Osnes Max Crumm
Ashley Spencer Derek Keeling Taylor Hicks Ace Young
The original company of this revival also featured many of today's brightest Broadway stars, not the least of which is Tony-winner Lindsay Mendez, who made her debut as Jan. Other cast members included: Stephen R. Buntrock (Teen Angel), Robyn Hurder (Marty), Jenny Powers (Rizzo), Matthew Saldivar (Kenickie), and Kirsten Wyatt (Frenchy). The ensemble featured up and comers like Cody Green, Matthew Hydzik and Emily Padgett. The latter two would go on to co-star in the revival of Side Show, while both guys were in the 2009 revival of West Side Story.
Lindsay Mendez Stephen R. Buntrock Jenny Powers
Matthew Saldivar Robyn Hurder Kirsten Wyatt
Cody Green Emily Padgett Matthew Hydzik
Over the years, Grease has maintained its place in Broadway history and in American pop culture. From its historic 3,388 performance original run, its 1,505 performance 1994 run, and the 554 performance in 2007, Grease consistently proves popular with audiences. I wouldn't be surprised if another revival pops up sooner rather than later.
Next week, we finish up with a look at its most famous songs!