|Full Name Jim Jacobs|
Name Jim Jacobs
Parent(s) Harold Norma
|Born October 7, 1942 (age 73) (1942-10-07) Chicago, Illinois|
Occupation Composer, Librettist, Lyricist, Actor
Partner(s) Diane Rita Gomez (1965-1974) Denise Nettleton (1978-)
[Wikipedia] Jim Jacobs
Jim Jacobs (born October 7, 1942) is an American composer, lyricist, and writer for the theatre. He is best remembered for writing the book, lyrics, and music, with Warren Casey, for the stage musical Grease.
Jacobs was born on October 7, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois to Harold, a factory foreman, and Norma (Mathison) Jacobs. Jacobs attended Taft High School, during which time he played guitar and sang with a band called DDT & the Dynamiters. When he was 11, his idol was Bill Haley, but when he was fourteen it was Elvis Presley. He also cites Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis as influences.
When he was a teenager, he would imitate playing a guitar with a broomstick. He eventually convinced his parents to pay for guitar lessons. After four lessons, he quit and decided to buy a guitar book and teach himself. From this, his found a simple chord structure: C, A minor, F, G7—this would later be Those Magic Changes featured in Grease.
In 1963, he became involved with a local theatre group that included Warren Casey, The Chicago Playwrights Center (at that time it was called Hull House Playwrights Center)run by artistic director Robert Sickinger.
For the next five years he appeared in more than fifty theatrical productions in the Chicago area, working with such people as The Second City founder Paul Sills, while earning a living as an advertising copywriter. He also landed a small role in the 1969 film Medium Cool.
Jacobs' Broadway acting debut was in a 1970 revival of the play No Place to be Somebody, followed by the national tour.
Jacobs also acted in the film Love in a Taxi.
At the same time, he and Casey were collaborating on a play about high school life during the golden age of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s. Entitled Grease, it premiered in 1971 at the Kingston Mines Theater in the Old Town section of Chicago. Jacobs remembered, in this interview: "When we went to New York... we were told it was necessary to make the characters lovable, instead of scaring everybody. The show went from about three-quarters book and one-quarter music to one-quarter book and three-quarters music."
Producers Ken Waissman and Maxine Fox saw the show and suggested to the playwrights that it might work better as a musical, and told them if the creative partners were willing to rework it and they liked the end result, they would produce it off-Broadway. The team headed to New York City to collaborate on what would become Grease, which opened at the Eden Theatre in downtown Manhattan. The Best Plays of 1971-72 notes that "Though Grease opened geographically off Broadway, it did so under first class Broadway contracts." The show was deemed eligible for the 1972 Tony Awards, receiving seven Tony Award nominations. In June 1972 the production moved to the Broadhurst Theatre in the heart of Manhattan's Broadway Theater District. Six months later it moved to the Royale Theatre where it played until January 1980. For fine final weeks of the run the show moved to the much larger Majestic Theatre (Broadway). Casey earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical. The show went on to become a West End hit and a hugely successful film.
He would also write a two-act musical Island of Lost Coeds with Warren Casey, a spoof on 1940s and 1950s B movies: a captain and crew crash on a deserted island inhabited by beautiful women with ratted hair, tiger-skin swimsuits and rubber spears. In 1980, he appeared in the film Love in a Taxi, directed by Robert Sickinger.
Jacobs served as a judge on the NBC reality series Grease: You're the One that I Want! in 2006, designed to cast the lead roles in an August 2007 Broadway revival of Grease via viewer votes.