Grease has entertained audiences for over 50 years. Alan Dein searches for its true roots.
Grease has entertained audiences for over 50 years, first on stage from 1971 and then on film in 1978. Somewhere near you Danny, Sandy and the Pink Ladies will be hand jiving their way through a pastiche 1950's that is a happy fantasy almost entirely detached from the Eisenhower years. But the true roots of Grease lie far away from the palm trees and sunlit corridors of Travolta's Rydell High.
Alan Dein searches for its roots amongst the streets of Norwood Park in North West Chicago and the city's suburbs with creator Jim Jacobs. There he encounters a much earthier world of 1950's teenage America. Enter a universe of drag races, boy bikers, teen rumbles and the real Pink Ladies! A world where the Slop Shop and the Parse's Red Hots played host to the Imperials, Goombahs, Ventures and The Outlaws. Tough kids who created a new kind of life for themselves far removed from their immigrant parent desires. Now in their 70's they reveal the real world of Grease and the true models for Sandy, Danny, Rizzo and Kenickie whilst Dein and Jacobs explore the very first and very different version of Grease that opened in the spring of 1971 before its transformation first on Broadway and then Hollywood.
Producer: Mark Burman.