Grease – Beauty School Dropout

“Beauty School Dropout” is a song from the musical Grease

In the musical, the song is the showcase piece of the Teen Angel, who makes his only appearance in the musical to sing the song. The Teen Angel is Frenchy’s guardian angel, and script notes specifically identify him as a Fabian look-alike, dressed in all-white. The Teen Angel appears to Frenchy, who has recently dropped out of beauty school out of frustration with her teachers, asks for a guardian angel in the mold of those seen in Debbie Reynolds movies.

The Angel descends from the heavens, then pointedly sings to her that she lacks work ethic and suggests that she return to high school so that she might eventually qualify for a career as a stenographer later in life.

Frenchy silently refuses and walks away, leading the Angel to close his number by lamenting her refusal to listen and ascending back to the heavens. (The film version does not have Frenchy refusing the advice, and the lyrics are likewise adjusted.)

Alan Paul, later a member of The Manhattan Transfer, originated the role on Broadway. It is not uncommon for the role of the Teen Angel to be held as a dual role by one of the other characters in the cast during stage adaptations (in Paul’s case, he also appeared as bandleader Johnny Casino).

It was recorded by Frankie Avalon (who, like Fabian, was a client of Bob Marcucci’s during his heyday) for the 1978 film adaptation of Grease, a role he reprised on stage through the 1990s and early 2000s. The Wild Angelsrecorded an earlier version for Decca Records 1972.

In the Noddy episode “The Tooth Fairy”, a parody of the song entitled “Tooth Fairy” is performed by Johnny Crawfish, Whiny, Whimper and the Ruby Reds, with the lyrics altered to be about Johnny’s first childhood encounter with the Tooth Fairy.

In 2012 the song was featured in an episode of the TV musical series Glee and in the related extended play soundtrack in a version sung by Darren Criss.

In 2017, Sandy and Richard Riccardi performed a spoof of the song called “Tiki Torch Nazis”, in reference to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Wiki

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