Grease Tour, with "American Idol" Winner Hicks, Kicks Off Dec. 2 in RI

By Andrew Gans
02 Dec 2008

Eric Schneider, Emily Padgett and Taylor Hicks
Eric Schneider, Emily Padgett and Taylor Hicks

The national tour of the fifties-themed musical Grease, based on the current Broadway production at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, launches Dec. 2 at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, RI.

"American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks, who played a summer stint as Teen Angel in the Broadway company of Grease, now reprises that role for audiences across the country.

Hicks is joined onstage by Eric Schneider (Jersey Boys, Altar Boyz) as Danny, Emily Padgett (Grease, national tour of Cats) as Sandy, Allie Schulz ("Grease: You're the One That I Want") as Rizzo, Scot Patrick Allan as Eugene, Will Blum as Roger, Bridie Carroll as Jan, Kate Morgan Chadwick as Frenchy, Brian Crum as Doody, Kelly Felthous as Marty, Dominic Fortuna as Vince Fontaine, Erin Henry as Patty Simcox, Roxie Lucas as Miss Lynch, David Ruffin as Kenickie and Nick Verina as Sonny.

The ensemble comprises Joseph Corella, Preston Ellis, Melissa Larsen, Ruby Lewis, Lisa Maietta, Dayla Perkins, Mark Raumaker, Mike Russo, Matthew William Schmidt and Brooke Stone.



The current tour schedule follows:
Dec. 2-7, 2008 at the Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence, RI
Dec. 9-14, 2008 at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, East Lansing, MI
Dec. 16-21, 2008 at Palace Theatre, Columbus, OH
Dec. 30, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009 at the Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
Jan. 6-18, 2009 at the Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
Jan. 20-Feb. 1, 2009 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati, OH
Feb. 3-15, 2009 at the Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore, MD
Feb. 18-22, 2009 at the Omaha Performing Arts Center, Omaha, NE
Feb. 24-March 1, 2009 at the Music Hall, Tucson, AZ
March 3-8, 2009 at the Civic Theatre, San Diego, CA
March 10-22, 2009 at the Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
March 24-April 19, 2009 at the Golden Gate Theatre, San Francisco, CA
April 21-26, 2009 at Keller Auditorium, Portland, OR
April 28-May 10, 2009 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, CA
May 12-30, 2009 at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, WA
June 2-7, 2009 at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton, WI
June 9-28, 2009 at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit, MI

Grease is produced on tour by Paul Nicholas and David Ian, Nederlander Presentations, Inc. and Terry Allen Kramer by arrangement with Robert Stigwood.

"After spending a hopelessly devoted summer with Sandy Dumbrowski, the new girl in town," Grease press notes state, "Danny Zuko's world is thrown upside down when Sandy appears at Rydell High on the first day of school. What follows is a rock n' roll celebration of growin' up, cruisin' with friends and goin' steady."

Directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, Grease features scenic design by Derek McLane, costume design by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and sound design by Brian Ronan.

Grease features book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The new production also boasts songs from the hit 1978 film, which co-starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Among the film songs heard in the Broadway revival are "Sandy," "Hopelessly Devoted to You," "Grease" and "You're the One That I Want."

The new cast recording of Grease is available on the Masterworks Broadway label.

Grease debuted on Broadway in February 1972 with a cast that included Barry Bostwick (Danny), Carole Demas (Sandy) and Adrienne Barbeau (Rizzo). The musical closed in April 1980, after playing 20 previews and 3,388 performances. The 1994 revival cast Rosie O'Donnell in the role of Rizzo.