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!

Monday, March 23, 2009

San Francisco Welcomes Taylor Hicks & The Cast of Grease!

The San Francisco Examiner wrote a beautiful piece about Taylor and the touring company of 'Grease' that will be opening in city by the bay Tuesday evening. The show will continue through April 19, so if you haven't picked up your ticket yet, now's the time! Taylor will be singing his new single, "What's Right Is Right" each night, live, after the encore. On April 14, Taylor will also be doing a club date at the Cafe du Nord to promote his new album The Distance. Check their website for more information about tickets.

Winning top honors on “American Idol” may have been heaven-sent, but from the looks of it, the blessings keep flowing for Taylor Hicks.

The 2006 “Idol” winner spreads his wings as the Teen Angel in a robust reinvention of one of the greatest Broadway musicals of all time. That would be “Grease,” which comes to life at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco this week.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for me to study and understand great musical theater,” Hicks says of the show. He says the most difficult part of his learning curve was absorbing the creative rhythms of actors and actresses in general.

The revered show, which first hit Broadway in 1972, became one of the longest-running productions until “A Chorus Line” made a splash. But it’s always been heralded for its concept: star-crossed lovers (and their teen milieu) cherish rock ’n’ roll as the country craves a move out of 1950s conformity and social conservatism.

Still, even “Grease” has had to evolve with 21st-century touches. Hoping to use the distinctly one-of-a-kind rocket fuel that only reality television offers (read: mass exposure), this Broadway revamp was born from NBC’s ratings winner “Grease: You’re The One That I Want” in 2007.

Roughly 90 million viewers tuned in to the competition series, voting for their favorite performers to play lead characters Sandy and Danny. When all the dust settled, the reincarnated “Grease” also came loaded with songs from the 1978 hit movie it spawned.

For Hicks, the role couldn’t come at a better time. After nabbing top “Idol” honors in 2006, he was thrust into the spotlight and expected to produce musical miracles. He may have done that with his distinct bluesy style, but critics wondered if any “Idol” winner could reach the heights of Kelly Clarkson.

Some creative reshuffling took place after the release of Hicks’ self-titled first CD. He chucked Arista Records and went solo, producing his latest outing, “The Distance,” on his own. It just hit stores.

“Doing it on my own basically forced me to start over from scratch,” Hicks says. “And I had a great amount of time to reflect deeply on what I wanted to put on the record. The musicians on the album are basically Eric Clapton’s road band, so, for me, it was a dream come true.”
It wouldn’t be the first, and certainly not the last, he says.

“There’s good chemistry between the musicians and me and right now,” he says. “Artistically, I am right where I want to be with the record.”

Overall, Hicks believes perseverance and believing in himself pulled him through all along. And San Francisco may pull him farther, actually. In addition to some good local reviews he’s received from the new album, Hicks is set to perform at CafĂ© Du Nord on April 14.

In the meantime, rock ’n’ roll, still here to stay, should keep Hicks — and “Grease” fans — thoroughly happy through spring.


Anonymous said...

Great article!

Check, check and check! Have my Grease and Cafe Du Nord tickets. Can't wait! There has been quite a buzz in the Bay Area regarding Grease. Local newspapers and TV stations have been advertising alot. The Grease cast and Taylor will be performing at Pier 39 on Friday - if I can swing it I may try to be there.

Yeah, baby - it's San Fran's turn now!!


Anonymous said...

I have my Grease tickets with a Meet and Greet afterwards for opening night tomorrow. I am so excited to read the tone in this article, cause L.A. was... so... mean. I'm sure he would like to really make a splash here -(get it, splash in the Bay, Dock on the Bay.....) here since he wants to release Whomp at the Warfield soon. (I'm believing that anyway). Maybe he will start selling it in San Francisco???? We have missed you Angel Baby!!!Lots of musical history in this town, and he wants to be a part of it. I wonder how many times I will head towards the city in the next few weeks. Since it is only a 1 hour flight to LA from here, I look for him to be on Idol (at least tape it) while he is here in early April.