Woman's Gotta Have It
Filmed at The Workplay Theater in Birmingham, AL 9-26-09 with Ona Watson.
Song available on Taylor's new album, The Distance.
On sale now! Pick your copy today!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Taylor Hicks: Broadway Star!

Well, you have to admit, Taylor threw a wicked curve ball to just about everyone when he announced he was going to appear on Broadway, at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, in *GREASE* starting June 6 and ending Sept 7.

Looking as handsome as ever on The Today Show last Friday, he seemed to be spilling over with excitement at this wonderful opportunity. He will be starring as the "Teen Angel", a flashy role that makes a grand entrance during Act II. Word from those who have seen the play is that he will fly in on a giant Ice Cream Cone! Yes, you heard right! A GIANT ICE CREAM CONE! I dunno about you, but I can't WAIT to see that!

In recent years, he expressed a bit of interest in acting, so this part will give him the opportunity to get his feet wet without being overwhelmed. He did say, however, that if he liked doing this sort of thing, he would look for bigger roles down the road. At the same time, he will be able to finish up his new album that we're all waiting with baited breath for. According to the Birmingham news, he's written some of the best songs of his life, with themes ranging from love to the socially conscious. I suspect the big plan is to tour after the album is released and the Broadway gig is up in the Fall.

For those who are a bit uneasy about this unlikely role for Taylor, consider this. I think Taylor sees himself as an entertainer by way of music, which is still his meat and potatoes - his 'day job' in other words. The man needs diversification. He's a pocket full of energy who needs creative outlets to breath. To be creatively challenged is his nourishment. Like he said, the role is a 'perfect fit' for him.

I'm sure trying out for American Idol left many of his friends scratching their heads in wonder, but in the end, it turned out to be a life altering experience. I see this temporary move to the Broadway stage as another bold move - something we as Taylor fans need to get use to - the unpredictability of his choices.

Some are concerned that his peers won't see him as a "serious musician". I disagree. I think pigeonholing him into a very narrow career path - one that can't be deviated from in fear on falling off course - is selfish on the part of his fans. Perhaps Taylor sees himself and actually is working towards a career that not only includes the soul and blues that he loves so much (and from what we hear, this new album will rock some serious socks!), but also include other creative outlets such as Broadway and perhaps movies and TV as well someday. He already has "author" credit to his name. Good for him! He's trying to *broaden* his territory and some are trying to stifle his growth.

It's like a homing missile. Those missiles are geared to hit a target but sometimes they go off-course once in a while - not in a straight, direct route - on the way to hitting the target. Eventually they DO hit it tho. I see Taylor's career like this homing missile.

Bottom line - Taylor envisions himself as an all-around entertainer. Those who want him to just stick to the "it's all about the music" mentality might want to reconsider. Maybe, just maybe, it's not.


Anonymous said...

Your insight regarding Taylor is so spot on Griz. I am thrilled that I have been a small part of unleashing this man's full potential as an artist (by voting my fingers numb). If his fans had not pulled through and voted for him so feverently on AI, we would not be experiencing this incredible journey Taylor has taken us on. I cannot wait to see what the future brings for him (and us).

I'm sure he will lose a few AI fans as they have their "it's all about the music, bar Taylor only mentality", but I feel he will gain so many new fans along this
incredible, diverse and artistic journey he is on.

I am so excited to see what's around the corner for Taylor (and us). What a wild ride this incredibly talented (and handsome) man is taking us on!


Anonymous said...

He may love it. He may hate it. But at least he will know.Kudos for him stepping out of his comfort zone.

How many opportunities do we wish we had went for in our lives without worrying about What Will People Say?

I say go for it Taylor! And while you're in NYC network, network, and network!

Trixi said...

I don't know how his fans can say this is a bad move. I feel it can only help Taylor become even more of an entertainer. How many A-list celebs have ventured to Broadway? Lots and lots.

I for one am along for any ride that Taylor wants to take us on. Will I enjoy every ride? I don't know, but I feel it will be fun finding out.

I guess people need to remember how most of them heard about Taylor.... singing " A Change Is Gonna Come... I believe with Taylor you better be ready to accept changes...I am...way to go Taylor

Sunny said...

I think it's a very smart move. He's got the new CD he's planning to release in the Fall. This is like massive and 'free' promotion.

He's working something new that could work into increased positive recognition. But ice cream cone? Why would an angel come in on an ice cream - I want wings and flying! Hicks' angel needs a harp too, the mouth variety. lolz

Regardless, this should be a kick.

Anonymous said...

I am happy for Taylor. He is a grown man and this is his career, as a fan i support whatever he does. He has such stage presence, he should do very well on broadway. This is great publicity for him. What a learning experience and a way to broaden his horizons!