7 Jun: When ‘Grease’ Was The Word

Edgy, gritty and sexy, the Broadway production of ‘Grease’ opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on 7th June, 1972, beginning what would become a record-breaking eight-year run. 

Despite NOT featuring some of the most well-known hits from the movie – including ‘Grease Is The Word’, ‘You’re The One That I Want’ and ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ – the production attracted an unusually high proportion of blue-collar audiences, keen to see working-class and ethnic immigrant subculture portrayed in a musical.

In this episode, Olly, Arion and Rebecca reveal the origin of the word ‘greasers’, explain why ‘50s nostalgia played little part in the original success of the show, and consider whether the Grease Megamix is an appropriate choice for 10 year olds to sing at a Summer Ball…

Further Reading:

• The Playbill from the original production:


• ‘It’s The Longest-Running Show on Broadway’ – a 1970s TV commercial for the show:

• The original dialogue from ‘Grease’ c/o New Line Theatre: