From Idol to Angel: Hicks to Make Broadway Debut in Grease
By Andrew Gans
As "American Idol" fans await the battle of the Davids — Archuleta vs. Cook — producers of the revival of Grease have announced that "Idol" winner Taylor Hicks will make his Broadway debut in that summer-lovin' musical next month.
Hicks, who was the Season Five "American Idol" winner, will begin performances as Teen Angel June 6. The Alabama native, who will succeed Stephen Buntrock, is scheduled to stay with the production at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre through Sept. 7.
In a statement "Idol" winner Hicks said, "I am incredibly excited to be a part of one of my favorite musicals. The Soul Patrol's gonna invade Broadway!"
Taylor Hicks was named "American Idol" in 2006, besting runner-up Katharine McPhee. Born in Birmingham, AL, Hicks toured the Southeastern U.S. during his teenage years and released two independent albums. Following his "Idol" win, Hicks signed a recording contract with 19 Records Limited/Arista Records. His eponymous debut album, "Taylor Hicks," debuted in the #2 spot on the Billboard 200 charts and was later certified as a platinum album. Hicks' memoir is titled "Heart Full of Soul: An Inspirational Memoir About Finding Your Voice and Finding Your Way."
Grease, which was Tony-nominated for Best Revival, co-stars reality TV winners Max Crumm as Danny and Laura Osnes as Sandy. They are joined onstage by Ryan Patrick Binder as Doody, Susan Blommaert as Miss Lynch, Will Blum as Roger, Jeb Brown as Vince, Stephen Buntrock as Teen Angel, Allison Fischer as Patty, Robyn Hurder as Marty, Lindsay Mendez as Jan, Jenny Powers as Rizzo, Jose Restrepo as Sonny, Matthew Saldivar as Kenickie, Jamison Scott as Eugene and Kirsten Wyatt as Frenchy. The ensemble comprises Josh Franklin, Cody Green, Natalie Hill, Matthew Hydzik, Emily Padgett, Keven Quillon, Brian Sears, Christina Sivrich, Amber Stone and Anna Aimee White.
"After spending a hopelessly devoted summer with Sandy Dumbrowski (Osnes), the new girl in town," Grease press notes state, "Danny Zuko's (Max Crumm) 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.
Grease is produced on Broadway by Paul Nicholas and David Ian, Nederlander Presentations, Inc. and Terry Allen Kramer by arrangement with Robert Stigwood.
Tickets for Grease, priced $71.50-$121.50, are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
For more information visit www.greaseonbroadway.com.
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