"Hundreds of musical wannabes lined up on Broadway in the chilly dark early on Friday morning in hopes the producer of the musical Grease would tap them and say, "You're the one that I want."
A new NBC reality television show of the same name has thrown open the casting call doors for the two lead roles of Grease made famous in the movie by Olivia Newton John and
John Travolta -- Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko.
The show, produced by Britain's BBC Worldwide Productions, follows the model of the BBC's "How Do I Solve A Problem Like Maria?" in which
Julie Andrews wannabes compete to star in a new production of "The Sound of Music" to open late this year.
Grease fan Laura Hart, 29, drove more than 100 miles (160 km) from her home in Royersford, Pennsylvania, to join the hopefuls outside Broadway's Palace Theater at 5:30 a.m., although she has no professional singing or acting experience.
"I just love, love Grease. I have since I was little and this is just the opportunity of a lifetime," said Hart, as she touched up her makeup after waiting about six hours in line to audition.
"I'm the same age Olivia Newton John was when she filmed the movie, so I figure that's good luck."
She was far from first in the line that started at 2:30 a.m. in the 41-degree (5 Celsius) chill.
"Grease" was first seen in Chicago in 1971 and opened on Broadway in 1972. The 1978 film, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, was one of the highest-grossing movie musicals and spawned No. 1 hit songs "You're the One That I Want" and "Summer Nights."
Set in a 1950s high school, "Grease" tells the story of a romance between Sandy, who is befriended by the rebellious Pink Ladies, and Danny, the black-leather clad head of the T-Birds.
Hundreds of other Danny and Sandy hopefuls tried out for the musical, due to start in June 2007, in Chicago last week, while hundreds more are expected to turn up at Los Angeles auditions in two weeks.
Aspiring actor Frank Dianda, 27, joined the Grease line-up at 3.30 a.m. but was prepared for the long wait after having already tried out for two other reality television shows -- "American Idol" and "Who wants to be a soap star?"
"I was prepared for the ruggedness," said Dianda, from Hudson, New York. "The one thing that sucks if that you're out there for 8 hours and by the time you get in here you're tired."
But it will not be the first time a reality TV graduate has trod the boards of Broadway. Josh Strickland, who plays the title role in "Tarzan," was a contestant on the talent show "American Idol." "
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