On May 11, 1994, the first Broadway revival of Grease opened at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre starring Rosie O'Donnell as Rizzo. It would go on to run for the next four years, but by Thanksgiving of '94, Rosie had left the production, with Brooke Shields (who had been headlining the national tour) taking over. In an effort to promote their new star, producers Fran and Barry Weissler scored a coveted spot at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which you can see below.
It features a motorcycle, hula-hoops, and some truly cringe-worthy expositional copy. "I don't know, I think I'll…ugh…graduate from Princeton…I don't know, maybe I'll meet a famous tennis player and — who knows? — star in a Broadway show," Rizzo says when asked what she'll do after she leaves Rydell High. The famous tennis player she references is eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi, who was married to Shields from 1997 to 1999.
Twenty-one years after this Thanksgiving Day performance, Grease is still the word. Grease Live! (starring Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo) is set to air on Fox on January 31. Until that sure-to-be-memorable television event, sit back and be thankful for the magic that was Broadway in the '90s:
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