When it comes to high school musicals, my heart belongs to "Bye Bye Birdie." But in 1978 "Grease" rode the 1950s nostalgia craze into box-office history, with John Travolta (above, with Olivia Newton-John), fresh from "Saturday Night Fever," supplying most of its finesse and energy. Fans regard "Fever" and "Grease" and the musical version of "Hairspray" as Travolta's rock-musical trilogy. I'd say that trilogy sags like a hammock -- it's strong and tall (and funny) at either end, with "Fever" and "Hairspray," but it droops in the middle, with the humdrum "Grease." Still, "Hairspray" director Adam Shankman once said he thinks they share an "unabashed rock'n'roll musical zeal." (Below is Travolta in drag as Shankman's Edna Turnblad.)

Baltimore moviegoers are fond of all three movies. Paramount Pictures has been asking fans nation-wide to sign onto a "Grease" website and "Demand It" -- demand, that is, that Paramount bring a sing-along version of "Grease" to their town this summer. And at the moment, of all the cities yet to be scheduled, Baltimore ranks second, just beneath Philadephia, in the number of fan requests. To add your voice to the throng, visit greasemovie.com.

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While you're at it -- or even if you wouldn't think of doing that -- let me know how you feel about these movies and other high school or youth musicals.

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