New York City
New Line finally rescues this raw, rowdy celebration of 1950s carnality from the cute, family-friendly productions that have distorted the show for years into something quite different from its 1972 Broadway original. For the first time in a long time, Grease returns to its aggressive, over-sexed, vulgar roots, capturing with surprising honesty a moment in American popular culture when Americans saw the first cracks in the armor of 1950s conformity and sexual repression — a moment that would lead in a few short years to the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and 70s.
Grease is about the beginning of a new era in the history of American sex, fueled by cars, drive-in movies, and more than anything else, rock and roll — the first music ever created specifically for teenagers. Grease is about the clumsy but emerging sexuality of the late 1950s, and just as Rocky Horror does, Grease shows us how America reacted to all this through its two main characters. Sandy Dumbrowski represents mainstream America, still comfortable in the sexual repression of post-war America, still looking to movies and TV for role models that didn’t actually exist. Danny Zuko represents that segment of American teens already sexually active in the 1940s and 50s, heading for the sexual freedom of the 60s, who ultimately wins over Sandy to a new, more free, more playful expression of sexuality.
New Line brings to St. Louis this classic piece of Broadway history the way it was meant to be — along with those terrific, funny songs they cut from the movie version: “Alone at a Drive-In Movie,” “Mooning,” “All Choked Up,” “It’s Raining on Prom Night,” and others.