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Could she be the one that they want?

A woman whose husband grew up in the bay area is a TV reality show finalist competing to be in the Broadway musical Grease.

Published January 26, 2007


ST. PETE BEACH - A woman with ties to the Tampa Bay area has been selected as a finalist for the reality talent competition series Grease: You're the One That I Want.

Kathleen Monteleone, 23, is one of six women who are competing to play Sandy, the lead female role. Monteleone is married to Frank Monteleone, 25, a graduate of the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School, who grew up in St. Pete Beach. According to the program's Web site, she is the only married actor in the Grease competition.

David Ian, one of the show's judges, said he is looking for versatility in casting the lead roles for Grease, which he expects to take to Broadway in August.

"We're looking for a triple threat: singing, acting and dancing," he said in a telephone interview Monday.

The talent-competition series Grease: You're the One That I Want is airing Sunday nights on NBC, locally on WFLA-TV, Ch. 8.

"She did great," Ian said of Monteleone. "She was selected to go through. And she was very, very strong."

Ian, a longtime independent producer, said Monteleone's ability to act the songs persuaded judges to move her forward.

She survived auditions and initial sessions in what the network calls Grease Academy.

"To be honest with you, we thought she was good without being great," Ian said of Monteleone.

On the show that aired Sunday, "she showed real passion and anger. We could see through her singing that she could connect," he said.

Her mother-in-law, Barbara, lives in St. Pete Beach; her husband's stepfather, Steve, lives in Tierra Verde.

Frank, an independent producer of off-Broadway shows, and Kathleen live in New York but have moved to California during her participation in the show.

Starting Sunday , the top 12 contestants will perform in six live episodes.

Popular votes will eliminate two each night. By the end of March, viewers will decide the two actors who will play the lead roles on Broadway.

Ian and the other judges, Kathleen Marshall, a dancer and choreographer, and Jim Jacobs, who co-wrote Grease!, the 1970s musical, will comment each week.

[Last modified January 25, 2007, 23:28:33]

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