The class of 1959 has gathered together for their high school reunion and proudly recites the school’s Alma Mater (“Alma Mater”), led by their former English teacher, Miss Lynch. Miss Lynch calls up the former head cheerleader, perky Patty Simcox, and the class valedictorian, ever-geeky Eugene Florczyk. Eugene reprises his speechifying role, speaking this time to his fellow alumni and mentioning that some are missing from the present gathering, but he is sure they are there in spirit.
Suddenly, we are back in 1959, and the missing members of the Rydell High class are there in the flesh – the greaser gang known as the Burger Palace Boys and the sassy, gum-snapping Pink Ladies recite their own parody of the Rydell anthem (“Alma Mater (parody)”). It’s the first day of school. As the Pink Ladies sit down to lunch, the new girl – Sandy Dumbrowski – joins them. The girls talk about their summers, and Sandy describes how she fell in love with a boy named Danny over the summer. They had a brief romance, she tells the girls, before parting when they had to go back to school. Out on the steps, the leader of the Burger Palace Boys brags to his friends about how he met a super hot chick over the summer and had a sexy fling (“Summer Nights”).
When Sandy and Danny bump into each other at school (a shock to both of them), they are both happy to see one another – but while Sandy expects Danny to pick up where they left off, Danny brushes her off in an effort to look “cool” in front of his friends. Reeling from Danny’s rejection, Sandy finds herself swept up by the Pink Ladies and invited to Marty’s pajama party. As the lunch hour ends, one of the other Burger Palace Boys -- Doody -- attracts the attention of teens coming into the hall when he demonstrates how he spent his summer: learning the guitar (“Those Magic Changes”). Doody may be the youngest and his guitar playing may be pretty terrible, but the crowd he attracts is proof that there is nothing more