Grease began as a bratty, scrappy little musical staged in a Chicago nightclub in 1971. Those raunchy storefront origins go a long way toward explaining the perversity of the musical’s message – in order to find and keep true love, just change every fundamental thing about your principles. But over time, Grease became a safe and shiny standby of Broadway and high school musical departments. It’s the reason the TikTok generation knows the names Sandra Dee and Doris Day. It’s the reason kids today still try – and mostly fail – to hit that note Travolta nails at the end of “Summer Nights.”
And now, like Marvel and Star Wars before it, Grease is the spawning ground for a whole new expanded universe, with the arrival of Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies on Paramount+. And if you need to brush up on your Rydell High lore before diving in, the Library can help with that.