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An experience largely forgotten by most productions of the show today.

Darphne Merkin wrote in in 2005 at the time of Sandra Dee’s death:

In Petersen writes, "Previously, teenagers had shared their parents’ world – watching the same movies, listening to the same songs on the radio. Now they had their own teenage idols, their own films, music, fads, and fashions." In retrospect we know that the well-behaved youngsters of yesteryear weren’t well-behaved because they were morally superior, but because they rarely had the opportunity to behave. In the 1950s – and even more so in the decades to come – those opportunities would be almost without limit. Adults were no longer sources of wisdom; adults were now outsiders. Teenagers had and, more important, they had their own culture.

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Rizzo’s pretty great at choosing metaphors…

Sandy’s clothing in "All Choked Up" is extraordinarily subversive. The end of suggests that a lasting, healthy relationship is only possible when both partners are openly and completely themselves, without regard for other people’s opinions, social conventions, or personal insecurities – and also when neither of them are afraid of their sexuality. This was not the message of the conforming adult world; this was a uniquely teen perspective. Both Sandy and Danny have to learn to be themselves, to shake off the masks of "cool" and "respectable." If there is any question about who the protagonist of the show is, Sandy is primary; she’s the one who has changed, who has learned something significant. The same may be true of Danny, but to a much lesser extent.

Sock Hop Baby, Roll Up Your Crazy Jeans!

Unlike their parents, rock and roll took teenagers . It took teenage and teenage seriously. It put teenage emotions on a level with adult emotions, and it made teenagers feel like adults. And the best part for the kids was that parents rock and roll. (A 1957 article in asked "Are You Afraid of Your Teenager?") Much of the authenticity of lies in its songs, a virtual catalog of 1950s styles, structures, chord progressions, lyrical themes, distinctive bass lines, and unforgettable guitar licks, all as authentic as a 1954 Fender Stratocaster. By opening the show with the old-fashioned "Alma Mater," followed by the explosion of the hard rocking "Alma Mater Parody," the kids of literally rebel against their older selves (at the reunion), the past assaulting the present, reminding the adults in the audience that most of them have become what they once hated most: The Establishment. The "Alma Mater Parody," blasts off with one of the most famous guitar licks of all time, created by Chuck Berry for the hit "Johnny B. Goode." Berry was one of the fathers of rock and roll, and so in this first scene, instantly establishes its authenticity and its as a rock and roll document.

I have never heard that song before,


A melody that’s never the same,

After Berry's , numerous high-profile artists penned tributes reflecting on his legacy. The "a brilliant guitarist, singer and performer" and "most importantly … a master craftsman as a songwriter." Bruce Springsteen "rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock & roll writer who ever lived," while that Berry "taught me how to write rock & roll melodies."

A melody that’s calling your name

"Chuck Berry sadly passed away over the weekend. He was one of rock 'n' roll's greatest poets. He will be missed but remembered by everyone who ever loved rock 'n' roll.

Feingold wrote in his introduction:

Like before it and which would come a year later, is a show about repression versus freedom in American sexuality, about the clumsy, tentative, but clearly emerging sexual freedom of the late 1950s, seen through the lens of the middle of the Sexual Revolution in the 1970s. It’s about the near carnal passion 1950s teenagers felt for their rock and roll, the first art form that actually human sexuality. (The phrase was originally African American urban slang for sexual intercourse, going as far back as the 1920s, and it made its way onto many rhythm and blues recordings before the 1950s.) As theatre, finds its roots in the rawness, the rowdiness, the lack of polish that made and other experimental pieces in the 1960s such cultural phenomena. The impact of on can even be seen in the two shows’ titles, both taking as their primary symbols the hairstyles of young Americans as a form of rebellion and cultural declaration of independence. Just as the characters of and reject conformity and authority, so too do both and as theatre pieces. Like, is an anti-musical, closer to the experimental theatre pieces of New York’s off off Broadway movement in the 60s, and light years from other musicals running on Broadway at the time, like (in a terrible revival), or .

Cry an’ give myself the red eye…

"Chuck was and is forever more one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest legends all over the world. I was privileged to meet him in his home town St Louis when I played there on tour and it’s a memory I will cherish forever. It’s not really possible to sum up what he meant to all us young guys growing up in Liverpool but I can give it a try."