Over fifty years since it debuted in Chicago, is Grease still the one that we want?

Fans of the iconic film will know most of the songs but this touring revival directed by Nikolai Foster is based off the original 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Creasey. The changes are largely cosmetic: Danny Zuko now hangs out with the Burger Palace Boys (not the T-Birds) and, as for his love interest Sandy, her full name is Sandra Dumbrowsi, not Olsson.

The stone-cold classic repertoire of songs – not least Summer Lovin’, Grease Is The Word, Greased Lightning, Hopelessly Devoted and You’re The One That I Want – are all present and correct and boosted by star names. Ex-Strictly judge Arlene Phillips’s choreography for a 1993 production of Grease was nominated for an Olivier award and, with her return to this show, it is easy to see why: the dance numbers are all superbly presented with buckets of energy and entertaining moves. Whether perched up above as DJ Vince Fontaine or blasting out Beauty School Dropout as Teen Angel, Peter Andre gloriously camps it up; recent headlines have not been kind to him but whenever he pops up on stage, he commands the attention and is utterly joyful.

Andre aside, the young cast has some notable highlights. Olivia Moore brings verve, vivacity and powerful singing to the role of Sandy while Jocasta Almgill’s seductive and nuanced Rizzo demonstrates why she was always the musical’s most interesting character. Katie Lee, a dance captain for major productions of West Side Story, Matilda and A Chorus Line, provides a scintillating portrayal of Cha Cha and her display of explosive movement during the Halloween Ball scene is nothing short of gobsmacking. Noah Harrison isn’t alone in making his West End and professional debut and, as Roger, shows real chemistry in his scenes with the equally impressive Mary Moore as Jan. On the flip side, Danny Zuko is a tough role to get right – John Travolta left some mighty big shoes to fill – but Dan Partridge is a curious choice with his matinee idol looks a poor compensation for his underpowered acting and singing.

Foster has neutered much of the roughness of Jacobs and Creasey’s original text and what passes for a plot – an unengaging melange of romcom, teen angst and macho posturing - is laughably slight with scant emotional heft to any of the between-song action. If it wasn’t for Colin Richmond’s period costumes and the references to the likes of Sal Mineo and Princess Grace, what is possibly the greatest modern-day love-letter to the 1950s would resemble more of a memo. This isn’t helped by a set design which is remarkably superficial, even for a touring production, with the only notable feature being Kenickie’s giant jalopy.

None of that will likely matter to most punters who will turn up eager to lap up the stellar songbook and perhaps vicariously revisit their halcyon days of classroom crushes and rushed romances. As one wag put it, nostalgia isn’t what it used to be but, in a West End awash with film-to-stage musicals of varying quality, this electrifying music and dance spectacular will no doubt be a summer hit.

Grease The Musical continues at the Dominion Theatre until 29 October.