The long-running Broadway revival of Grease!, which reopened April 8 with comic Joe Piscopo and Olympic gold medalist Dominque Dawes in featured roles, will go through its first series of cast changes May 6. That's when Jeff Conaway, best known as Bobby the struggling actor on TV's "Taxi," takes over as dee-jay Vince Fontaine, and Darlene Love, the 1960s songstress, takes over for Lee Truesdale as Teen Angel. Oddly enough, the latter role will undergo a gender change, since Truesdale is male and Love female. (Gymnast Dawes will be with the show through July.)
Conaway is a Grease! veteran, having played Danny during part of the original Broadway run and Kenickie in the Travolta/Newton John film.
Both Piscopo, who will chat with Playbill On-Line April 25, and Dawes have appeared in Grease! previously. Piscopo's bow was memorable because it occurred during the night of the great blizzard of February 1996. The former "Saturday Night Live" comedian and the cast went on anyway, making Grease! the only Broadway show to play that night. Gymnast Dawes played the show for a month in December 1996.
Grease! had been slated to close Feb. 23 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre to make way for the Annie revival, but the unexpected closing of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Whistle Down the Wind in Washington DC allowed Annie to switch to the larger Martin Beck, which in turn allowed Grease! to continue at the O'Neill.
Grease! went on hiatus Feb. 23 as scheduled, but reopened April 8 with the new cast. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line.