Jim Jacobs Roy Hollingworth - Essay

Roy Hollingworth

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Grease offers a good stench of cheeseburgers, soda, flick-knives and floosies, stocking tops and schools hops, and rrrrrrockanroll. And hey, that can't be bad!

I always approach rock musicals with a vast amount of suspicion….

But let me tell you this maybe is the first valid rock 'n' roll musical. The reason is very simple. It's all about rock 'n' roll. It's authentic, it's brilliantly written, and the cast is just NEAT. Take all that and add hilarious humour and I reckons you've got entertainment.

It's a pretty wet storyline, but that couldn't have been better for something that's supposed to mirror the wild scenes that went on behind teachers' back at High School Circa 1957….

The teen-talk is just superb, fast and slick, and bitchy as you like. The girls look like sisters of sin. Hate to think what would melt in their mouths.

And the guys—just incredible. There's Danny Zuko,… Sonny La Teirra, and Kenickie. Cuban heeled winkles, tight jeans, slicked back hair, and slicked-back conversation. They're not caricature roles—guys like this did exist.

The book, music and lyrics were written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, and you've got to hand it to them—they pinned it all right down to the last onion on the last burger.

Roy Hollingworth, "The Roar of the Grease," in Melody Maker (© IPC Business Press Ltd.), July 7, 1973, p. 16.