REVIEW: ‘Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies’ explores world of Grease through modern lens

Joceline Giron, Multimedia Editor

Rydell High comes back for an eventful year full of changes in the status quo, all because of a group of four misfit girls. “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” tells the origin story of the Pink Ladies crew from the original film, Grease.

“Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies,” was first released in April of this year, is set in 1954, four years prior to the original Grease, and follows good-girl Jane (Marisa Davila) after she is made an outsider by her peers because of a fiasco involving her boyfriend Buddy (Jason Schmidt) after they were caught together in his car. Three other castaway girls, Olivia (Cheyenne Isabel Wells), Cynthia (Ari Notartomaso) and Nancy (Tricia Fukuhara) come to her defense and stand with her during her race for the election. The show follows the journey of all four girls as they strive to change everything unfair in Rydell High. 

The plot dives into each Pink Ladies story and shows how they each became a social outcast. 

Each episode is around 50 minutes long and is packed with amazing actors who are all triple threats: able to act, sing and dance. It is filled with 30 fun and charismatic original songs made by Justin Tranter along with amazing choreography by Jamal Sims. They have a large range of songs, from upbeat to emotional. Along with each song, the choreography by Sims is spectacular and makes the viewer want to learn each dance as well. For all the original Grease fans, they even have the ‘hand-jive’ sprinkled into the choreography. 

One of my favorite aspects of this show is the historical accuracy regarding the Greasers, meaning these characters aren’t portrayed as white. The T-Birds represent a part of the hispanic community, with actors such as Johnathan Nieves playing Richie, the leader of the T-Birds, along with his other T-Birds Gil (Nicholas McDonough), Shy Guy (Maximo Salas) and Potato (Alexis Sides). It even covers topics like LGBTQ+ rights, misogyny and political corruption in the ‘50s.  

Many people don’t enjoy musicals, but I believe that this show tops the Grease trilogy. If you are interested in watching “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies,” all episodes are currently streaming on Paramount+, but are threatened of being taken off of the platform due to cancellation which was announced on June 23. If you don’t have time to watch the show before it could be gone, you can check out the soundtrack for part of the experience.