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Grease (1978) 40th Anniversary

Grease (1978) 40th Anniversary
Grease 40th Anniversary

Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Directed by Randal Kleiser. Produced by Robert Stigwood, Allan Carr. Screenplay by Bronte Woodard. Adaptation by Carr.

Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Barry Pearl, Michael Tucci, Kelly Ward, Didi Conn, Jamie Donnelly, Dinah Manoff. 

110 minutes. 35mm. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

A Cast and Crew Reunion with director Randal Kleiser and cast members Didi Conn, Olivia Newton-John, Barry Pearl and John Travolta. Hosted by Mario Lopez.

Set in the fall of 1958 at fictional Rydell High, Grease is one of the highest-grossing live-action musicals of all time. The film follows innocent new girl Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and bad boy greaser Danny (John Travolta) through their tumultuous love story. After a secret summer romance, Danny and Sandy are thrown for a loop when they unexpectedly run into each other on the first day back at school. While Danny worries about protecting his bad boy identity around his fellow T-Birds, Sandy turns to her new friends, the Pink Ladies, for support. Together, the two groups use song and dance to help settle their differences and navigate the challenges of adolescence, including peer pressure and self-acceptance.

Director Randal Kleiser, who had worked with Travolta previously on the 1976 television movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, made his big-screen directorial debut with Grease. Newton-John, who was already a well-established pop artist, was offered her role after meeting producer Allan Carr at a dinner party. In the film she sings the ballad “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Original Song.

Adapted from the hit 1971 stage musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, Grease explores the trials and tribulations of working-class youth in the 1950s. The score draws on familiar rock ‘n’ roll sounds reminiscent of the time period, working to create a lively, joyous tone, but also leaving room for slower ballads that explore more sensitive themes. Grease went on to inspire a sequel, Grease 2 (1982), and the production Grease: Live, broadcast on Fox in 2016.


This program is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.