In the buildup to Fox's Grease Live spectacular, I mentioned to a few people that I had never seen the movie Grease, but I had been a teenager at exactly the right time to have had to sing every song from it in various show choir and music camp things. (Yes, I was one of those kids.) So I know a lot about Grease and basically nothing about Grease.
This is astonishing to most people. There was a time in the mid-to-late '90s when Grease was basically inescapable, and given my general affection for musical theater, SURELY I would have seen it at some point.
But I didn't. And I don't even know why. I dated a girl for quite a while who was really into Grease, but I just never watched it with her. (Maybe that's why we broke up!) (No, it was because I started hooking up with my eventual wife.)
Despite all that, I think I know some things about Grease. Here are a few of them.
1.) A girl named Sandy maybe(?) changes everything about herself for a boy named Danny probably. This is the one thing I am 100 percent certain I know about Grease, because it's the one thing everybody complains about when it comes to Grease.
2.) Greased Lightning is a car, most likely. At least, I know John Travolta does a dance on a car in the movie. I've seen that press still a few times.
3.) Rizzo is a character people like. I could not tell you anything else about her, or at least I couldn't until a few nights ago, when I edited Caroline Framke's review of Grease Live for Vox. (Now, I know that she's in the Pink Ladies and should be the protagonist.)
4.) Jeff Conaway left Taxi because he thought Grease was going to turn him into a movie star. He came back for a one-off episode that was very meta about how his character (Bobby) had a shot at stardom and didn't want to waste it. Needless to say, he didn't become a star. It's sort of fitting that the thing I can speak with the most authority on as it pertains to Grease is a '70s sitcom.
5.) "You're the One That I Want" was written just for the movie, I think. This seems nuts to me, because how do you do this show without that song? That song is iconic! Like, when people perform this on stage, do they just not do that song? How does the show end? Is there still a carnival? Or do things just sort of fade out over inconclusive confusion, as they inevitably do in real life?
6.) Rosie O'Donnell was in the 1994 revival cast. How do I know this? No idea.
7.) At some point, somebody drops out of beauty school. There is a song about it.
Also, apparently, there is an angel. Somebody should look into that.
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