Grease!, the second-longest running revival in Broadway history, and the one that launched Rosie O'Donnell as a Broadway phenomenon, closed Jan. 25.
Though billed as "the Tommy Tune production," this 1994 revival of the 1972 Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey musical was directed by Jeff Calhoun. The revival played 1501 performances, putting it second only to the revival of Oh! Calcutta!, which ran 5959 performances as Broadway's longest-running revival (see more information below). The official opening date of this Grease! was May 11, 1994. No tour is planned, according to a production spokesperson.
* Rosie O'Donnell had enjoyed a highly successful standup and film career, but her appearance as Rizzo in this revival cemented her relationship with theatre that has continued in her hit TV talk show, and led to her hosting the 1997 Tony Awards.
* So many people wanted to see Broadway's Grease! during the 1996 Thanksgiving holiday, producers Fran and Barry Weissler brought a second production of the show -- the national touring company -- into New York's City Center, making it one of the rare instances in which the same show was playing in two Broadway theatres simultaneously.
* The production set a new standard for star replacements. The Weisslers made a practice of finding stars from other TV, pop, standup comedy, even gymnastics, with a loyal core following, and putting them in one of the roles for a limited time. Here's a list of some more prominent figures:
Cousin "Brucie" Morrow
Gymnast Dominique Dawes
For the many readers who questioned the status of "Grease!" as the second-longest running revival, here is data on the longest -- Oh! Calcutta: The original production of "Oh! Calcutta" opened Off-Broadway June 17, 1969 and played 710 performances. It then transferred to Broadway for its first Broadway run on Feb. 26, 1971 and played another 610 Broadway performances through Aug. 12, 1972. The Broadway revival opened Sept. 24, 1976 and closed Aug. 6, 1989 after 5959 performances.