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!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

'Grease’ is frothy, fun homage to the ’50s

From the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, TX! Enjoy!

Hopelessly devoted fans of Grease won’t mind that headliner Taylor Hicks spends roughly four minutes onstage. Or that he doesn’t appear until almost two hours into the musical, in the middle of Act 2.

But Soul Patrol devotees might feel cheated. Hicks, who’s billed as the big star of the national tour of Grease presented by Casa Mañana that started Tuesday at Bass Hall, plays Teen Angel, who sings one song in the show — Beauty School Dropout.

But oh, what a cameo appearance it is: Decked out, Elvis-like, in a sequined suit, he descends from above a burger joint in an ice cream cone, then sings, hip-shakes and even blows his signature harmonica before heading back into "that malt shop in the sky." In a hilarious homage to, well, himself, Frenchy (a baby-voiced Kate Morgan Chadwick) declares to the 2006 American Idol champ dreamily, "I voted for you."

There’s a lot to like about this production of the beloved musical about high school friendships, jilted sweethearts, and all things cool in 1959. With its colorful set, frilly petticoats, upbeat choreography and live music by the "Grease Band," the show is one frothy, fizzy soda pop of energy.

Generally, the women in the cast outshine the men. Allie Schulz is stellar as the brassy Rizzo. And Erin Henry as the perky Patty Simcox will remind you how much you loved or loathed student council members.

But the leads, Eric Schneider as Danny Zuko and Emily Padgett as Sandy Dumbrowski, seem peculiar casting choices. Schneider just doesn’t give off that legendary Travolta-cool vibe; he seems sort of geeky. And Padgett’s exceptionally well-trained voice brought too much vibrato to some of her songs, including a Summer Nights that fell flat on the audience. Still, the two have sweet chemistry together, and Padgett sizzles as the "sexy Sandy" at the end.

Be sure to arrive early — you don’t want to miss Vince Fontaine’s (Dominic Fortuna) "warm-up act" that’ll have you singing and dancing along to some classic tunes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My friend saw Taylor in Grease in Orlando,FL. She said the show was great and she really enjoyed Taylor. She got me an autograph. The Bob Carr was packed and the audience showed Taylor alot of love!