As a local performer, I thought that "Grease" showcased what Broadway producers are looking for and it highlighted a small bit of the acting population. Although my favorites did not win (but came in second), I enjoyed comparing myself to them and seeing what I liked and where I could improve as a performer.
They brought in Olivia Newton-John because she is the obvious link between the Broadway production and television audiences.
They sang songs from the movie ("Hopelessly Devoted," et al) because these songs will be included in the new production.
I agree with the earlier comment made that the B'Way cast looks so much older, but you must bear in mind that these are people who have been on Broadway and worked their tails off to be there. If the entire cast was green and fresh then I believe that would have compromised the casting process by which producers choose their talent.
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