Book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Additional songs by Barry Gibb, John Farrar, Louis St. Louis and Scott Simon may or may not be incorporated into productions. The original Broadway production opened on 14 February 1972 and was directed by Tom Moore, with choreography by Patricia Birch. The production closed on 13 April 1980, running for a total of 3 388 performances. A Broadway revival of the show is currently running.
Synopsis and Musical Numbers
With the sound of rock and roll music flowing into our ears, the most colorful members of the class of ’59 enter in flashback. The “greasers,” comprised of the Burger Palace Boys and the Pink Ladies, are what everyone remembers about their senior year. As they sing their ALMA MATER PARODY, it’s easy to see why. Flashback to the first day of senior year, September, 1958. (Some productions open with GREASE, which was written for the film version and has been incorporated into several productions since then.) The high school cafeteria bustles with kids groaning about the annual return to lousy food (“You want my coleslaw?”) and dreaded teachers (“I got Old Lady Lynch for English again. She hates my guts.”).
The Pink Ladies sit on one side of the lunchroom, and the Burger Palace Boys sit on the other. There’s a new girl in town, Sandy Dumbrowski, who shares with the Pink Ladies – Jan, Marty, Frenchy, and Betty Rizzo–the details of her summer romance.At the same time, Danny Zuko, leader of the Burger Palace Boys (Roger, Doody, Sonny, and Kenickie), brags about his love conquest (SUMMER NIGHTS). Sandy and Danny bump into each other, and while Sandy is happy to find her summer love again, Danny blows her off under the guise of being too cool.
When lunch hour ends, rock star wannabe Doody gives an impromptu concert in the hall (THOSE MAGIC CHANGES), making it clear that grades and SAT scores aren’t nearly as important as learning to play the guitar. Boys rank even more highly than songs on the Pink Ladies’ charts, which is evident at Marty’s pajama party, where the girls experiment with cheap wine, cigarettes and pierced ears, and Marty tells about her long-distance courtship with a Marine (FREDDY, MY LOVE).
Meanwhile, the Burger Palace Boys are busy drinking cheap beer and daydreaming about easy girls and cool cars (GREASED LIGHTNING). Sandy is still hurt by Danny’s brush off, but when they get a minute alone together Danny tries to explain. Head cheerleader Patty Simcox interrupts to prompt Sandy to join the squad and to tease Danny about his latest indiscretions (RYDELL FIGHT SONG).
The kids take their newfangled portable radios for a rock and roll picnic in the park and plan how they’ll pair off at the upcoming school dance (MOONING). Sandy passes through with valedictorian-to-be (aka the school nerd) Eugene; she seems to have given up on Danny since she’s found out that he has been telling his friends that she’s “easy,” which is not what a nice girl who almost went to Immaculata likes to have said about her. Rizzo teases Danny for falling for a girl who resembles the excessively proper teenage ingénue, Sandra Dee (LOOK AT ME, I’M SANDRA DEE). Almost all the couples have some sort of fight with each other, but they still proclaim WE GO TOGETHER.
On Saturday night, everyone is SHAKIN’ AT THE HIGH SCHOOL HOP – everyone, that is, except Sandy. She’s home asking the stars up above why she must be a teenager in love and otherwise feeling sorry for herself (IT’S RAINING ON PROM NIGHT, sometimes replaced with HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU). Meanwhile, all the kids are getting their kicks at the hop. The favorite radio DJ of the Burger Palace Boys and the Pink Ladies, Vince Fontaine, is the MC at the dance, which takes place in the gym. He’s warming the kids up for a dance contest. Kenickie, who got a blind date after a fight with Rizzo, now dumps her and pairs off with his usual thrill. Danny enters the contest with Kenickie’s cast-off, Cha-Cha DeGregorio, and they win (BORN TO HAND JIVE).
A few days later at the Burger Palace after school, a couple of the guys run into Frenchy who flunked out of Rydell and is now studying cosmetology (BEAUTY SCHOOL DROPOUT). Danny, who has taken up track in order to win back Sandy’s affections, doesn’t know that the guys have been challenged to a rumble by Cha-Cha’s friends. He’s more concerned about patching things up with Sandy at the Twi-Light Drive In, but he moves too fast for her and she leaves (ALL ALONE AT A DRIVE-IN MOVIE, sometimes replaced by SANDY).
The “greasers” are having a party, as Doody and Kenickie (ROCK AND ROLL PARTY QUEEN). Rizzo is worried that she’s pregnant, but she’s so mad at Kenickie that she tells him he’s not the father. The other kids are sympathetic, but Rizzo rejects their offers of help, especially Sandy’s (THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I COULD DO). Sandy wonders what she needs to do to fit in at Rydell (LOOK AT ME, I’M SANDRA DEE – REPRISE).
The next time Sandy meets up with the Burger Palace Boys and the Pink Ladies, a transformation has taken place. Sandy is now a greaser’s dream date, leaving Danny ALL CHOKED UP (sometimes replaced with YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT). Rizzo is relieved to learn that she isn’t pregnant, and she and Kenickie reunite. It’s happily-ever-after time for everyone (WE GO TOGETHER – REPRISE).
Purchases from Amazon.com
From left to right above: 1. Grease 1972 Original Broadway Cast CD. 2. Grease 1978 Film Soundtrack CD. 3. Grease 1978 Film Soundtrack Deluxe Edition CD (with singalong tracks, medleys and previously unreleased material. 4 Grease 1994 Broadway Revival CD. 5. Grease 1994/5 Broadway Revival Cast CD (with Brooke Shields).
From left to right above: 1. Grease 1994 London Studio Cast CD. 2. Grease 2007 Broadway Cast Recording CD. 3. You Sing the Hits of Grease Karaoke CD. 4. Grease – the Musical Karaoke CD. 5. Grease 2 Film Soundtrack CD.
From left to right above: 1. Grease Vocal Score (Stage Show). 2. Grease Vocal Selections (Stage Show). 3 Grease Professional Women’s Vocal Selections (with CD). 4. Grease Professional Men’s Vocal Selections (with CD). 5. Grease is Still the Word Vocal Selections (Film).