By Michael Kuchwara
Max Crumm and Laura Osnes are the ones America's television viewers want. Crumm will play Danny Zuko and Osnes will be Sandy Dumbrowski, the lead roles in the $10 million revival of "Grease," opening on Broadway this summer.
The winners, chosen by audience votes, were announced Sunday during the final episode of the NBC reality series "Grease: You're the One That I Want."
"Whoa!" yelled the 21-year-old Crumm when his name was announced. "I can't believe this. Whoa!" The performer, originally from Phoenix, moved to Los Angeles three years ago.
Osnes matched Crumm in her enthusiasm. "This is my dream come true," grinned the 20-year-old from Eagan, Minn., a Minneapolis suburb.
The twosome edged out Austin Miller and Ashley Spencer for the roles of the swivel-hipped greaser and the poodle-skirt-wearing good girl in the musical celebration of high school in the 1950s.
The musical opens Aug. 19 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with preview performances beginning July 24.
The television series premiered in early January with nearly 60 hopefuls, chosen by the judges from auditions in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Voting by television viewers began later in the series after the number of performers had been winnowed down to 12 contestants -- six men and six women. Contestants performed songs from "Grease" and other musicals each week.
The three judges were the show's Broadway producer David Ian, "Grease" co-creator Jim Jacobs and Kathleen Marshall, who will direct and choreograph the Broadway revival. Last season, Marshall directed the hit Broadway production of "The Pajama Game," starring Harry Connick Jr.
"Grease: You're the One That I Want" was modeled after the wildly successful British Broadcasting Corp. show "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" and its quest to find a young woman to star in a London revival of "The Sound of Music." The winner, Connie Fisher, and the production were embraced by both the critics and audiences when the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical opened there in November.
The upcoming revival of "Grease" will be its third Broadway production. The original, which opened in 1972, played for more than 3,000 performances. The second, featuring Rosie O'Donnell as Betty Rizzo, arrived some two decades later, for a run of more than 1,500 performances.
The 1978 film, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, was one of the most successful movie musicals of all time.
The revival will feature songs from both the stage and screen versions of the musical.
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