"Grease" is the word when it comes to my favorite musical past-time. But the question is, what was it about the rock and roll era in the 50s that influenced the writers of this stage musical turned movie? Also, how did this type of film affect the popular culture of the past and of today? That is the basis of this paper
. Grease began as a five-hour long amateur show presented in a Chicago trolley barn in the summer of 1971 and eventually made Broadway. The film version of "Grease" began almost immediately. It debuted in 1978, becoming the biggest grossing movie musical in film history. Its eight-year run made Broadway history and put it among today's most popular musicals. Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey wrote the book, music and lyrics for Grease in 1972. Jacobs was a self-admitted "greaser" himself in the 50's in Chicago. He played guitar and sung with local bands. In 1963, he became involved in a local theater group, where he met Casey, who was an art major at Syracuse University and after teaching in upstate New York, moved to Chicago and soon gravitated toward acting and writing songs. Even though they followed different paths, they met up again in the early seventies and soon began tossing ideas around about doing a modest, inexpensive show that would take an affectionate but honest look at the world of the youth in the fifties. So how does "Grease" portray the life of the youth in the fifties and what social effects did rock and roll have on the youth in the 50's? In the 50's, a typical teenager would hang out with their friends at malt shops, "necked" at drive-in movies, and gathered around the television with their families. Perhaps the world would be a different place if teenagers would not have gone any further with their exploration of fun. But when rock and roll was introduced, they latched onto the thrilling beat and refused to let go. From the beginning, rock and roll has been associated with youth, rebellion and anti-establishment....
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