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Thread: Other post finale interviews

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    Other post finale interviews

    For Echo (and others)

    Playbill's interview:

    Up Close with Grease's Max and Laura: On Broadway, After Reality TVBy Matt Windman
    28 Mar 2007


    New Grease stars Laura Osnes and Max Crumm

    "How cool would it be if they got one of us together?" Laura Osnes said to Max Crumm, gazing up at the walls of Sardi's, as they lunched on salad and French fries.

    "I want a caricature now," Max joked. "This place is awesome."

    It was a characteristically quiet Tuesday afternoon at Sardi's Restaurant. Since there were no matinees on Broadway that day, the ladies who lunch were in short supply. Though they would have obviously noticed two young, bright-eyed actors situated in the back corner that were eagerly taking questions from a revolving chain of journalists, they may have not have heard of 20-year-old actress Laura Osnes of Eagan, MN, and 21-year-old gym receptionist Max Crumm of Phoenix, AZ , the two lucky winners of NBC's reality series "Grease; You're the One That I Want," the "largest casting call in theatre history," according to that TV show's co-host, Billy Bush.
    This summer, Max and Laura will storm the Brooks Atkinson stage as Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbrowski in Kathleen Marshall's Broadway revival of Grease!.

    Where was each when he or she first decided to audition?

    "I was in the shower," Max admitted. "My roommate knocked on the door because he was watching TV and goes, 'Man, there's this show and they're finding the next Danny and Sandy, and you should totally audition.' So, I said 'Okay' and went on the internet."

    "I first saw an article in the newspaper that they were holding auditions," Laura said, "and since I was already playing Sandy, [I thought], 'Okay, maybe I have a shot at this.' It was worth going out there and auditioning for it, and I just kept making it. And, here I am!"

    Each attended the open auditions in California. What was that first day like?

    "I got there at 5:15 AM and froze my butt off in line for about eight or nine hours," Max said.

    "I got in line at 6," Laura answered. "I was a bit behind Max. I didn't sing till 4:30 in the afternoon."

    Did either mug for the camera, screaming "I'm Sandy!" or "I'm Danny!"?

    "I did," Laura admitted. (Of course, in retrospect, she is Sandy.)

    "They asked me and I didn't," Max remembered. "There were these weird people who would always run in front of the cameras and try to sing. If you were to see me at the auditions, I was just the kid who was sitting down, listening to my iPod or playing Sudoku. It was weird seeing the producers walking around and getting guys to put on blonde Sandy wigs."

    "It was weird to think, 'Wow, I am one of 500 people standing in line auditioning for this role,'" Laura said. "Some are blonde and cute with poodle skirts. . . . How much do you do? Is it over the top? You still have to be yourself. . . . Some people were just trying to get on camera. Some people auditioned who were just not [right] for the role at all."

    How did each feel about their nicknames from the judges? (He was "Slacker Danny." She was "Smalltown Sandy.")

    "I loved mine actually," Max admitted. "A lot of people thought it was bad to be 'Slacker Danny.' But I secretly saw it as an up for me because Danny is a slacker. He's not 'Hot Danny' or 'Wholesome Danny' or 'Boy band Danny.' I was excited. It also gave me something to overcome, to show that I was more than that."

    "I was originally shocked by 'Smalltown Sandy' because I hail from Minneapolis," Laura said. "But I think that made me relatable to people. 'Oh, she's done theatre in her hometown, and now she's going for this audition.'"

    If Sandy hardly ever dances in the show, was it really necessary for all the girls to be subjected to high-kicks and pirouettes in Grease Camp?

    "Kathleen said depending on the dance level of the Sandy, it could become a dance role," Laura said. "In 'Summer Nights' and 'You're the One That I Want,' she'll try to incorporate as much movement and dance as possible."

    "I remember thinking why they were making all the girls do this," Max said, "because Sandy is mostly voice and presence. But Kathleen wanted to find a triple threat. She wanted to find somebody who's good at singing, dancing and acting who could easily be Sandy. They wanted to find two stars, two who could do it with ease and charisma and natural ability."

    Let's talk about the revival. Will Sandy be Sandy Dumbrowski or Sandy Olsen?

    "She is Sandy Dumbrowski," Laura firmly answered. "The original play version. I don't know why, but in the movie it's Olsen. Dumbrowski is more specific."
    The T-Birds or the Burger Palace Boys?

    "We're definitely going to be the Burger Palace Boys," Max said. "We're staying true to the Broadway show. The only thing that's really different is that I'm singing 'Sandy,' she's singing 'Hopelessly Devoted to You,' and at the end we're doing 'You're the One That I Want.'"

    What about "Grease is the Word"? Is that in the revival, too?

    "I don't think it's actually going to be in the show," Max said.

    "They said they were going to try," Laura remembered. "It might be in the opening. When we used the lockers on the live show, Kathleen Marshall said that's the vision she had for Broadway as well."

    Will there be any kind of new directorial concept?
    "This version is going to be about real kids in the '50s," Max said. "Kathleen's take on it is these normal, down-to-earth kids and their big imaginations."

    Last question: When did Laura reschedule her wedding for?
    "May 11."

    Playbill News: Up Close with Grease 's Max and Laura: On Broadway, After Reality TV
    Last edited by Peaches'n cream; 03-30-2007 at 08:16 PM.

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    About:Theater Interview with the winners of Grease: You're the One that I Want

    (Maria Knapp)

    I was lucky enough to get to interview Laura Osnes and Max Crumm, the winners of Grease: You're the One that I Want. They will soon be starting rehearsals for the Broadway revival of Grease. Both were as delightful and as personable as they appeared on the show. I've transcribed the tape below, but let me set the scene:

    Max and Laura are finishing their lunches in a corner booth at Sardi's when I arrive, having been interviewed for hours already. They take a brief break to stretch, and I sit down to talk to Max while we wait for Laura to return. Though he seems a little tired from his long day, the fact that he is going to be on Broadway is still a novelty. He mentions it in passing to someone as he sits down, "I'm going to be on Broadway!" with the delight of kid learning about a trip to Disneyland. (Or any actor upon learning that they are going to be on Broadway, for that matter.)

    MK - First off, I want to say congratulations

    MC -Thank you so much.

    Laura returns.

    LO - Hi. I'm sorry. What was your name again?

    MK - I'm Maria. And have you met Max?

    They laugh.

    LO - Yeah, Max, I think I'm playing opposite you on a Broadway stage?

    MC - Yeah, I've heard about you. You're voice, I hear, is great.

    LO - Wow. Thanks. I've heard you're real funny and really talented.

    They laugh.

    MK - You know what, at this point, I have lots of questions, but I'll cut to what I have as my last question. So, have guys started practicing your Tony speeches? Have you even imagined it yet?

    Their jaws drop and they both laugh, startled.

    MC - No waaay.

    LO - Oh my gosh, I haven't even thought about that.

    MC - I think that's far….

    MK - I don't know. I started thinking about mine when I was and a stage manager in high school. And they don't even have an award for that.

    LO - I remember when I took tenth grade speech, one of the things we had to do was write an acceptance speech and I wrote an acceptance speech for my Tony. So I guess I could dig through my old assignments and maybe find it.

    MC - It may be a little old.

    MK - As you thank you're ninth grade math teacher and your dog Checkers…

    LO - laughing Yes, exactly.

    MK - I wanted ask you about the audition process which was significantly longer than any audition ever. You got a lot more face time. What was your average day like?

    LO - Wow. The average day varied so much from the initial audition in LA to where we got to the live shows. With just the live shows, the rehearsal process was very intense. We would wake up early. All go to the studio together to be getting vocal coaching and choreography coaching and working on group numbers and getting our songs for the week and stuff. We'd do that all day long. So it was basically waiting our turn to go in and sing and dance and then at the end of the day or the afternoon, all getting together to work.

    MK - Any free time ever?

    MC - We had one day off a week. But for me it was really easy to forget how hard I was working because I was having so much fun.

    LO - Exactly. Laura nods in agreement.

    MC - That's what I think got me through all of the crazy rehearsal schedules and all that. But also taking the right amount of professionalism. I think that's exactly what Laura and I are going to bring to our cast for Broadway. The right amount of not realizing we're working so hard because we enjoy it so much.

    LO - Exactly. Laura nods in agreement.

    MC - And it's what we're supposed to be doing. You know what I mean? It's really…I feel that way. I don't even know what the question was.

    MK - What were the days like?

    MC - It was a lot of rehearsal. A Lot.
    MK - We saw clips of scene work on the show. Did you do more scene work?

    MC - No. We really only did scene work once for Kathleen Marshall. Well, we did twice at Grease Academy for her and then once we did a bunch of scene work with her on the drive-in scene. Then when it got down to the final six, she had the guys all sing "Sandy" and all the girls sing "Hopelessly Devoted", but in a very relaxed, very just her-and-you situation where she wanted to see the story. Kathleen Marshall is very subtle in her acting training. It's really just great, because she doesn't tell you how to do it. She doesn't dictate. She kind of feels you into it. She gets you to feel how you're supposed to feel. It's a great tool that she has.

    MK - Did she do that with the other songs too?

    MC - Every song. (to Laura) And that's how I know she's going to be a great director.

    LO - Yeah. She only worked on the group numbers with us until the end when she worked with the final six on their solo songs. And that was really cool. But it makes me hunger for the rehearsal process. I can't wait to work with her and see what she does with the show.

    MK - It came through with your songs. Your characters came through in your songs no matter what you were singing. So I just wondered where the characters came from?

    MC - It also came from our choreographers Vince Pesce and Lauren Betard. [Note: I didn't write down the spelling of Lauren's name, so this is a guess. Sorry-Maria] They were just great. They were just wonderful. They were there working their butts off every day with us. And they did all the couples dancing. Take what you can from everyone and apply. It. That's what my method is. Anything you can learn from anybody. Apply it and just see what you've got.

    LO - I think the special thing about Max and I when we perform, as well as that we receive direction very well, is that we're both very personable performers. We make the song our own and think about what we're saying. Really act out the song and not just sing the words like they often do on shows like American Idol. You know, where they just sing with the microphone. It's so fun and I think Max and I are so good at telling a story when we perform.

    MK - That's what made you watchable. I'm not a reality show fan, so the fact that I sat and watched your series was a big deal for me.

    They laugh

    MC - Well, thank you.

    LO - That's what we were hoping. When we initially started the show, I was like "I wonder what America is going to think of this?" People are actually dancing, singing, and acting all at the same time.

    MC - I definitely agree with Laura. I think we were both having a good time telling the story. And that's what it's about. You know, it's about being a singer-dancer-actor, not just a singer or a dancer.

    MK - I was looking at your training. I know you have both had years of training. If you could go back, and you knew that you would wind up here, is there anything that you might have studied more?

    LO - I don't know. I guess I was so fortunate growing up in Minneapolis. It's a great theater town. I was able to do lots of professional theater at a very young age in the city. And I also did high school stuff as well and community theater. Each experience has really made me who I am. It has formed me into the performer that I am. I did go to college for one year. But then I got offered a theatre job back in Minneapolis and decided to not do school and get experience instead. I hear flak and support from both sides even from people within the theater community who say, "Oh, you have to go to school. You'll regret it if you never go." And other people who are like, "If you've got it, go for it. Who needs school?"

    MC - I'll take this time to say that Laura and I are both people who have cut college. (Laura laughs.) We both went through a year of college and then…school is not for everybody. I definitely think that.

    LO - It's not that I look down upon school…

    MC - No.

    LO - And I think it's great, but it's just…

    MC - It's not for everybody. Honest. My thing to is, I've been doing shows since I was six. And it really is a combination of having "IT", which is something that is undeniable, natural ability, likable quality, and experience. It comes down to how much you've stretched yourself. How many different people you've become over your lifetime in plays. How many different things like that. Really I think that's what's shown through in the show for Laura and I. We have played different roles up the wazoo. Like, Laura has been Peter Pan. I've been the Grinch in a huge, green bodysuit. So we know what it's like to feel completely comfortable as ourselves as well as like crazy, imaginary characters. So that's a big part of it.

    MK - I've gotten my two minute warning, so final questions. First paid job? Theater job.

    MC - My first paid job was actually a national commercial. I never got paid for theater. It was a national commercial for Alltel where I was a robot kid and my head exploded. So that was my first paying acting job.

    LO - My first paying acting job was paying Martha Cratchit in A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

    Max yells into the tape recorder: See! I did a lot for no money!

    MK - Like everybody.

    LO - It's true. You did work you're way up.

    MC - It's about the love. It's not about the money.

    MK - Are you excited to be moving to New York?

    MC - I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm so excited.

    MK - Have you been here before?

    MC - Yeah. I've only visited. I used to say New York is a nice place to visit, not live, but now I gotta switch that around.

    LO - And I've been here several times. Love it! Have always wanted to live here. And this is my shot.

    MK - Well, thank you both very much.

    And, with a last moment to admire Laura's gorgeous engagement ring, I left, looking forward to seeing these two shine on Broadway.


    My Interview with the winners of Grease: You're the One that I Want

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    The Winners of Grease Have Chills, and They're Multiplyin'!
    by Raven Snook

    Laura Osnes and Max Crumm, Grease: You're the One That I Want Although we're still nine finalists away from picking the next American Idol, this past Sunday viewers chose the winners of the Broadway reality competition Grease: You're the One That I Want. When the multimillion-dollar revival of Grease opens on the Great White Way this summer, its leading lovebirds Sandy and Danny will be played by two Broadway newbies: 20-year-old Minnesotan Laura Osnes and 21-year-old Arizonan Max Crumm. Both Osnes and Crumm started out as underdogs. Osnes, who was starring as Sandy in a local dinner-theater production of Grease when she made it onto the NBC series, was initially dismissed as too innocent. In fact, judge/theatrical producer David Ian told her that Broadway professionals would "eat her alive." Meanwhile, though Crumm was routinely praised for his talent, the judges worried about how his "unconventional" and "quirky" looks would work on a giant billboard in Times Square. Yet as the competition continued, Osnes and Crumm won over the judges and the American public, beating out two early favorites: blonde bombshell Ashley Spencer and longtime pro Austin Miller. But the hard part is only beginning as Osnes and Crumm head into rehearsals for their New York stage debuts. TVGuide.com chatted with them separately about their journeys thus far.

    Laura Osnes
    TVGuide.com: I blogged about the show and I was really rooting for you and Max.
    Laura Osnes: [Laughs] Well, thank you so much. I'm so glad that I could win your vote! Just kidding. I'm relieved that the competition is over. It was like a five-month-long audition.

    TVGuide.com: Were you confident that you could win all along?
    Osnes: When I went to L.A. to audition I remember thinking that I fit the role better than some other people there. So I figured I had a good chance of making it to the finals, but not in my wildest dreams did I think I would win. But I kept gaining favor from the judges.

    TVGuide.com: Did you worry that viewers might think you were safe and not vote for you?
    Osnes: Not really. It's not like I was the favorite the whole way through. When I started out it was like, "Do you have what it takes to be here?" And I just kind of turned that around and used it to motivate me to be better. I feel like I gained the respect of the judges for doing that, and obviously America, too.

    TVGuide.com: Had you ever auditioned for a Broadway show?
    Osnes: Nope. The only national audition I ever attended was for Disney Cruise Lines.

    TVGuide.com: Hey, it worked for Jennifer Hudson.
    Osnes: Well, she got hired! I only made it to callbacks.

    TVGuide.com: Do you worry that when you open on Broadway people won't feel that you've paid your dues?
    Osnes: A little. But meeting the rest of the Broadway cast has made me feel more secure. They're just so cool and down-to-earth. They were so excited for me and Max. Getting that vibe from them has been very reassuring.

    TVGuide.com: On Sunday night you were crowned Sandy about 20 minutes before Max won the role of Danny. Did you worry about who would turn out to be your leading man?
    Osnes: I would have been happy with Max or Austin, but they are completely different and would have made for very different shows. But I'm close with both of them and have chemistry with both of them. Max has been such a great friend of mine from the very beginning. We met at the L.A. auditions and totally bonded, so I'm excited to be playing opposite him.

    TVGuide.com: You postponed your wedding so you could finish out the series. Is your fiancÚ thrilled that you won?
    Osnes: He's been so supportive and we're really excited to jump-start our lives together in New York. We start rehearsals June 11, so we have enough time to get married and go on our honeymoon before the hard work begins.

    Max Crumm

    TVGuide.com: The judges really set you up as a long shot from the beginning.
    Max Crumm: They totally did! I never thought that I would make it to the finals. It's so weird that I won! I was genuinely shocked. I had been preparing myself to lose. I kept telling myself, "You know what? They're going to say 'Austin' and it's OK. You're going to go on and do other things." Then they said my name. It still hasn't sunk in. I still feel like, "Really? I won this?" I almost didn't go to the original audition.

    TVGuide.com: You're kidding. No wonder they nicknamed you "Slacker Danny."
    Crumm: You know, that's so funny. Kathleen Marshall [who will be choreographing and directing Grease on Broadway] actually told me the other day that she accidentally coined that term. Originally they weren't going to use everybody's nicknames on the show. They were just calling us different things, Derek was "John Stamos Danny" and Austin was "Harry Connick Jr. Danny." When they got to me, Kathleen was like, "What's that kid? A slacker, "Slacker Danny." And it kind of stuck.

    TVGuide.com: Did she apologize for saddling you with that moniker?
    Crumm: She said she was sorry. And I was like, "Hey, don't even worry about it."

    TVGuide.com: Totally. Who cares what they call you? You won!
    Crumm: [Laughs] Yeah. The finals were really interesting. Austin was like the old-school, slick Broadway Danny and I'm like the real, raw Danny. It's going to be a whole new Grease. I couldn't be happier about working with Kathleen, and I know that she's totally excited to work with me, 'cause she picked me as her favorite Danny the last three weeks of the show.

    TVGuide.com: During the show, you revealed that you were involved with fellow contestant Allie Schulz, who was the second Sandy runner-up. Are you two still seeing each other?
    Crumm: You know, we are a little bit. When I get to New York I'm going to take her out on a date.

    TVGuide.com: So you have two big things waiting for you in Gotham.
    Crumm: Yup. I'm definitely closing up one book and opening up another.

    TVGuide.com: I heard a rumor that you had been cast in Disney's upcoming Haunted High School Musical. Is that true?
    Crumm: I don't know about that. Maybe if I hadn't won Grease. But now I'm not available for a year while I'm under contract.

    TVGuide.com: After you finish your run in Grease, will you look for work on the small and big screens? You'd be a natural on a sitcom.
    Crumm: My whole life I've said to myself, I'm going to do it all. And I still feel that way. Broadway has just come first. I plan on pursuing TV and movies. I want to be a part of so many projects, the possibilities are endless.

    The Winners of Grease Have Chills, and They're Multiplyin'! | TVGuide.com

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    Wow, peaches. Thank you so much !

    I think it's interesting that Laura said she would have been happy with either Austin or Max. Quite the little diplomat.

    Cute that Max is going to take Allie "out on a date".

    The Stamos and Connick references to Derek and Austin were funny. That's what everyone here was saying about them !

    I do think Max and Laura will be great as Danny and Sandy. Hey ! Maybe they'll do a remake of the movie and then we'll all get to see them !

    Those are all great articles that I hadn't seen peaches, and it was really sweet of you to take the trouble to post them. Thanks again and again !
    "The way to become boring is to say everything." Voltaire

    " The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. "
    Mohandas Gandhi

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