The Playgoer: When They Don't Want "The One That I Want"

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

When They Don't Want "The One That I Want"

Michael Riedel bursts the "Grease" bubble this morning, after the celebration of their advance sales in wake of American Idol-lite--I mean, the "You're The One That I Want" reality show.

The phones at Ticketmaster were, I'm told, ringing off the hook because a lot of viewers who bought tickets to "Grease" weren't happy with the actors chosen to play Danny and Sandy: Max Crumm (change the name, kid) and Laura Osnes.

"There was a bit of a frenzy because a lot of people wanted Austin and Ashley to win," says a source. "They wanted their money back."

So much for an open casting process. Maybe it's not good for the audience seeing all the sausage making...

By the way, how's this for a reality tv show pitch: Put on a big Broadway musical, have an open casting call, and have the viewers vote on the winner--except make sure the actors are good! Like, by having an actual professional, Equity open call. Yes, I know the point was the "everyman" appeal. But don't you think the viewing public would also tune in more if they could see some of that great musical theatre talent that's already beating the pavements of Times Square? (Instead of awkward karaoke-singing jocks from Long Island?)

The tv show might have helped give some much-needed visibility to the theatrical arts, but as Riedel reminds us, "The show did marginally better than the Tony Awards, but that's like saying Alan Keyes did marginally better in New Hampshire than Dennis Kucinich."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bleidel couldn't have done much research before writing that article. True fans of the show know that just as many, if more, people waited to hear Max Crumm and/or Laura Osnes' names before purchasing tickets. A few people bought tickets in multiples after they learned that Max/Laura won, because they couldn't buy singles and really, really wanted to see these two quite talented kids.

Time will tell, but I think the Grease revival will be a smashing success.