Show Business: True Grease

In America, the recent past has become a cultural staple. First the '20s, '30s and '40s, gleaming with just enough romantic distance, were conjured in theater, art and fashion. Now the nostalgia nuts seem to be closing the gap with the present. That dreary decade, the '50s, is apparently being dusted off for a revival.

In films, The Last Picture Show brings back the groping, mindless mood of much of the period as the sound track oozes record hits of the day. Roger Kahn's book The Boys of Summer reprises the great, winning days of the '50s Brooklyn Dodgers. Revivals of '50s...

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