Producers Fran and Barry Weissler will make theatre history this Thanksgiving when they open a second production of their long-running hit, Grease!, on Broadway.
The national touring company of Grease!, starring Jasmine Guy and Adrian Zmed, will open at the City Center Theatre for five performances Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, joining the regular Broadway production starring Tracy Nelson eight blocks south at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, which recently played its 1000th performance.
A check of the records shows that this is the first time two productions of the same play have run on Broadway simultaneously since 1917 when the touring production of Maytime came into town while the original company was still playing. In that case, the two productions played across the street from one another, at the still-standing Shubert Theatre, and the long-gone 44th Street Theatre.
Why is New York getting a second helping of Grease!?
"The fact that the Broadway performances at the O'Neill were basically sold out," a production spokesperson said. "They [the producers] wanted to give out-of-towners and others a chance to see the show." The City Center Grease will play 2:30 and 8 PM Friday, Nov. 29; 2:30 and 8 PM Saturday Nov. 30; 3 PM Sunday Dec. 1. For tickets: (212) CITY TIX.
The O'Neill Grease! will play 2 and 8 PM Nov. 29; 2 and 8 PM Nov. 30; and 3 PM Dec. 1. For tickets: (212) 239-6200. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line.
It's been a busy week for the Weisslers. Their revival of Chicago opens tonight, Nov. 14, on Broadway. Two national tours in which they are involved, the Debbie Gibson Funny Girl and the Stephanie Powers Applause, announced this week that they will be suspending performances.
-- By Robert Viagas and Louis Botto