The following is a recap from the March 14th Grease shows at the Pantages in L.A. and a M&G between Taylor and two Boogie Boarders, cali50 and deejay.
Deejay and I had a great day. We went to both shows and had a M&G after the first one.
So, we get to The Pantages and try to find someone who knows about the M&G – no one does. This makes me think we must be the first ones (in LA) and maybe the only ones for today! An usher tells me he will get the “House Manager” and he should know something. He doesn’t, but is really nice and seems very efficient. He showed us a place to come after the show and said he would know something by then.
The show was great! I am a fan of the movie, but have never seen the play. There are a few songs that are not in the movie. Loved It’s Raining on Prom Night which is a beautiful duet done between Sandy and the chubby Pink Lady. Everyone was really good. Each principal character gets their own solo and they all shined. The kid who plays Doody is very talented. Love the actress who plays Frenchie – she is adorable throughout the whole play. I have to admit, though, that during the whole first half I was anxious for it to end so we could see Taylor.
Finally, intermission and then the second act begins! When the ice cream cone came out I grabbed Deejay’s knee and we just smiled at each other. Then the ice cream cone lights up and there he is. Thunderous applause! Just unbelievable! He hasn’t even done a thing yet and the audience loves him! He is very animated, does the eyes up to Heaven, the facial expressions are hysterical. When he gets to the floor, as he comes out of the cone his back is to the audience, he is doing this dance with his hips swaying and the audience loves it! The song is pretty much what we have all seen on videos and heard about: He and Frenchie have really good chemistry together. When she delivered the “I voted for you” line, the audience went nuts! Then they do this little hip bump at stage right and she said, “Oooo, you’re so frisky.” In the evening performance she said, “Cute butt.” Then he saunters over to the ice cream cone and goes back up. At the end he plays his little harp solo and the audience goes crazy again. It was so wonderful to see the LA audience loving him. And make no mistake, it is indeed a show stopping 7 minutes. It’s obvious the audience has many people who are here to see Taylor and they love him.
Re: What’s Right is Right – LA audiences are notoriously famous for leaving things early. A few people started to leave during the last curtain call but as soon as Vince Fontaine announced that Taylor would be singing his new single, they came back! Unbelievable! The music is recorded for his single but his voice is live. It sounds great. He was so well received. I can not even emphasize enough how much the audience loved him.
At the evening show, the energy level while Taylor was on stage was magnified times 10! There were young ladies screaming for him! I also enjoyed the evening performance more because I wasn’t so anxious about seeing Taylor and worried about the M&G. If he isn’t picking up a ton of fans, by doing Grease, I would be very surprised!
ETA: Taylor is not doing the Pompadour hair anymore. Can I get a cheer?? LOL! It is simply gelled up, as one would do when flat tops were popular. I would guess it’s because he has to come out and do the single so fast.
M&G: When we got to the spot that the House Manager told us to go, there is a small table set up and it is roped off (very reminiscent of the tour M&G). Deejay and I are hoping that this isn’t our place to have it because we both had envisioned something more private. A lady comes over and asked the House Manager if she is in the right place to get her CD signed by Taylor. She is standing right next to us. He says, “No, not with them (meaning us) they are doing something special. Your spot is right there.” And he pointed to a roped off area against the wall. So, Yes, Taylor is selling the CD. And, if you buy one there they set up a place for him to autograph it! It cost $20 at the venue. Bill is there so I’m sure they are being scanned.
A young girl came out from backstage and she had our names on a very short list, “Follow me.” So, now we know for sure that we are the only two for the M&G. She takes us down a hallway that leads to a backstage door (with a combination security lock on it) and tells us that Taylor should be out in a moment. But as soon as we walk through the door, he is already there waiting for us. Man, he looks beautiful – He had on the same thing he wore for his single solo: Nice, well-fitted jeans, black shirt, charcoal grey jacket, black boots. He is trim and tan. I introduced myself and told him I was one of the adminstrators on The Boogie Board. He said it was really nice to meet me and asks me my name. Then he says, “You look familiar. Have I met you before?” So I told him I was the camera lady and he smiled and said, “I remember that.” I asked him if he’d like to see the camera he bought me and he chuckles and said sure. I told him I didn’t want a picture with me because the one we took in San Diego is just a really nice photo and I’m two years younger in that one, so why take another. He laughed at that. I took only one picture of him, by himself and with a special message from Taylor along with the picture (seen below).
All this time Deejay is hanging a few feet behind me. I’ll let her post her own thoughts about her M&G. I didn’t really ask Taylor any questions, just let him talk. He talked about making a CD and how different it is when you record as opposed to being live. He even mentioned Whitney Houston for some reason. Yes, I may have had a little TIBO, so all is not completely clear! LOL! I told him I loved the CD, well 10 of the 11 songs anyway. He said, “Heck, 4 out of 11 would be good.” He signed my CD “Taylor Hicks – Soul Patrol” and he also signed the book inside, “To Pat, Thanks, Taylor Hicks” Not sure if the “Thanks” was for buying his CD or for running The Boogie Board. He also signed my Katja cartoon of him dropping my camera. He thought it was great. He asked if we were going to The Roxy show and we told him I was but Deejay had to go back to Dallas. He said he was sure he would be in the Dallas area sometime this year. I asked him if Elliott might show up to duet with him at The Roxy. He said he hadn’t thought about it and had just talked to Elliott yesterday, but he thought Elliott might be starting a radio tour and be out of town. Deejay asked him some questions and again, I’ll let her write about those. There was no rush to end this thing. No one ever said, time is up. But we ran out of things to say. So we thanked him and left.
My overall impression is that Taylor looks happy, healthy, and is enjoying himself very much!