Writing from a midtown Manhattan awash in Christmas season cheer, a group of reporters for Entertainment Weekly in 1996 marveled at the rivaling presence of 1950s nostalgic kitsch inspired by the successful Broadway revival of the musical Grease, which had returned to the New York stage two years earlier. The revival show, cheekily adding an exclamation point to the title, was enormously successful, serving as a vehicle to resuscitate the careers of stars like Rosie O’Donnell and Brooke Shields, and it seemed to create that success, the reporters argue, by appealing to the ‘G-rated crowd,’ with elements like a ‘pre-show sock hop’ turning the once-raunchy Chicago musical into something like ‘a Disney ride’ (Kim et al. 1996). Grease!, in fact, was such a hit at the time that the national touring company set up a second venue six blocks north of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre to house the overflow audience for the holiday weekend. On the radio, a medley of songs from the 1978, dubbed the ‘Grease Megamix,’ was receiving maximum airplay, causing the film’s soundtrack album to dominate the Billboard charts once again, reaching number five on the pop catalog album chart ahead of both R.E.M. and Pearl Jam’s new albums. Crossing into television, TNT’s recent airing of the film Grease the day after Thanksgiving attracted 1.7 million viewers, capping off a month where it had been ‘the nation’s highest-rated basic cable movie’ (Kim et al. 1996). When pressed for comment, the phenomenon’s co-creator Jim Jacobs could only shrug at the ‘leather-jacketed cottage industry’ his play, written with Warren Casey, had become. His simple assessment, in the end, only seems like a slight exaggeration: ‘ “It’s no longer just a show,” marvels Jacobs…. It’s an empire.” ’ The numbers quoted in the article – over 20 million soundtrack albums sold, $153 million grossed at the box office, and $60 million earned by the current Broadway revival – give a glimpse into that ‘empire,’ which would, astoundingly, grow even bigger with a theatrical re-release of the film two years later and again in 2010, along with another Broadway revival in 2007, all of which does not even account for ancillary sales of the film on VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray or its multitude of related tie-ins.