The musical is based around some of the subcultures of 1950s High school America, including the "tough guy" working-class greasers from which the musical takes its name. The musical takes place at fictional Rydell High in Chicago, Illinois. Some of the social issues featured in the musical are teenage pregnancy and gang violence; its themes include love, friendship, rebellion and sexual exploration during adolescence, and, to some degree, class consciousness/class conflict.
The show was nominated for seven Tony Awards and the 1994 revival was nominated for three. In 2003, Grease was voted Best Musical of All-Time in a Channel 4 poll.