I love this movie. It’s quite silly and campy in some ways, but it’s also funny and smart and — obviously — packed with great musical numbers. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if I absolutely had to narrow it down to ONE… it’d be “Beauty School Dropout” with Frankie Avalon (the scene where Frenchy contemplates her career/educational options after a disastrous dye job).
Of course, like many musicals on this list, Grease is based on a stage play. I vaguely remember seeing one of my cousins in a high school theater production of it ages ago — and I also vaguely remember that they got in a bit of trouble for not cutting out some of the raunchier lines! (This was conservative small town Texas, after all.)
Speaking of raunchier lines… Rizzo is one of my favorite characters, ever. I confess that I kind of hated her as a kid — she seemed too mean and slutty compared to the naive Sandy, almost like a villain. But there isn’t really a villain in this film, is there?
Oh, sure, there’s the guy from the other car-racing gang with the spikes on his wheels and the fancy-dancing girlfriend. But his rivalry with the T-Birds is secondary to the main storyline, just a convenient device to move the plot forward and create a little conflict to frame the more interesting problems the main characters are having: first love, first car, first job… and first failures. Rizzo experiences perhaps the most serious problem of all the characters — her unintended pregnancy — but this is too-neatly wrapped up in a throwaway line in the final number: “It was a false alarm!”
Anyway… I don’t really know where I was going with that line of thought, other than to say that I think Rizzo is an interesting-yet-underrated character.
Do you have a favorite character or song/dance number from this musical?