Friday, December 29, 2006
Newton-John heads to prime time
Our coverage of the mysterious disappearance of Olivia Newton-John's alleged boyfriend, Patrick McDermott, has gotten international attention—and stirred up rival factions in various Olivia Newton-John fan clubs, which, for some reason, are using our comment sections to duke it out. It’s bizarre, it’s wild, it's totally off point-- and fascinating. For accusations of perversions, molestions and stalkings and more— click here or here, or pick any Olivia Newton-John story, and look at the comments. There are hundreds. Now to the latest:
Shiva and memorials are officially history, now that Olivia Newton-John, star of the 1978 blockbuster movie Grease, will be hiotting prime time as guest-star in of NBC's Grease Broadway talent search. Olivia, who's spent much of the past year spinning the mysterious disappearance (and subsequent sightings) of her alleged boyfriend into fodder for an album and concert act, will provide "commentary" for the first two episodes of Grease: You're The One that I Want, which premieres January 7th.
In a shocking parallel to another popular talent show on the Fox network (whose new season premieres nine days later and in which Newton-John will show up as a celebrity judge), the initial episodes will focus on auditions around the country, leading to audience votes that will choose the actors to play Sandy and Danny in a Broadway revival (the idea was used successfully in the UK to choose West End leads for The Sound of Music; next they're doing Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat-- doesn't that sound like a winner...)
Newton-John, who successfully slipped out of scandal regarding her behaviour during the first seven weeks her supposed lover, Patrick McDermott, was missing from a fishing boat expedition last year, seems to have a love-hate relationship with the musical. Earlier this month, she sued the Universal Music Group, claiming she's been cheated out of more than a million dollars in royalties from the Grease movie soundtrack.
There's been no indication that her Grease movie co-star, John Travolta, will be involved in the NBC show, but considering that he recently completed his cross-dressing role as Edna Turnblad in the movie version of Broadway's Hairspray, it's a distinct possibility. Him or Didi Conn.