STARS: Jeff Conaway, Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing in a scene from the movie Grease.
STARS: Jeff Conaway, Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing in a scene from the movie Grease.

Sing along at the cinema with Sandy, Danny and Rizzo

TO celebrate the 40th anniversary (yes, 40th, that's not a typo) of Grease, Lismore's Birch Carrol and Coyle will offer a special sing-along screening of the original High School musical.

Grease was originally a 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.

Named after the 1950s United States working-class youth subculture known as greasers, the musical is set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School (based on William Howard Taft School in Chicago, Illinois) and follows ten working-class teenagers as they navigate the complexities of peer pressure, politics, personal core values, and love.

In the 1978 film, good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer.

It's California 1958 and greaser Danny Zuko and Australian Sandy Olsson are in love.

They spend time at the beach, and when they go back to school, what neither of them knows is that they both now attend Rydell High.

Danny is the leader of the T-Birds, a group of black leather jacket-wearing greasers while Sandy hangs with the Pink Ladies, a group of pink-wearing girls led by Rizzo.

When they clash at Rydell's first pep rally, Danny isn't the same Danny from the beach.

They try to be like each other so they can be together.

When they unexpectedly discover they're now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?

Grease made John Travolta (Danny), Olivia Newton-John (Sandy) and Stockard Channing (as the unforgettable Rizzo) into film stars.

Most of the principal cast were well past their high school years.

When filming began in June 1977, Stockard Channing was 33, Michael Tucci was 31, Jamie Donnelly was 30, Annette Charles was 29, Olivia Newton-John was 28, Barry Pearl was 27, Jeff Conaway was 26, Didi Conn was 25, John Travolta was 23, Kelly Ward and Eddie Deezen were both 20, and Lorenzo Lamas was both 19.

 

Didi Conn, Stockard Channing and Dinah Manoff in a scene from the movie Grease. Supplied by Paramount.
Didi Conn, Stockard Channing and Dinah Manoff in a scene from the movie Grease. Supplied by Paramount.

In the stage play, the song Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee had a reference to Sal Mineo, who was murdered in 1976. For the movie, the lyric was changed to reference Elvis Presley, who died the same day the scene was filmed.

Elvis Presley turned down the role of The Guardian Angel in the Beauty School Drop-Out scene.

Hopelessly Devoted to You was written and recorded after the movie had wrapped.

The producers felt they needed a strong ballad and had Olivia Newton-John come back to film her singing this song. It ended up receiving an Academy Award nomination.

As of December 2017, it has grossed a domestic total of US$188,755,690 and a worldwide total of US$394,955,690, against a budget of US$6 million.

It also became the highest-earning musical of all time. The second highest is Chicago (2002).