A Flurry of Google Alerts

Yes, Grease started up again after a Holiday Hiatus so the Google alerts are flyin’! With Ace Young joining the cast as Danny, more and more writers are using the American Idol connections as a starting point.

Former Idol Stars in St. Louis As New Season Kicks Off
Taylor Hicks and Ace Young Performing In “Grease”
By Chris Regnier FOX2now.com
January 12, 2010

As American Idol premiered Tuesday night on Fox 2, two former idols appeared in the premiere of Grease at the Fox theater. Former American Idol winner Taylor Hicks and finalist Ace Young appeared on stage together. Young and Hicks both tell us they still  get excited every time American Idol premieres.

My favorite quote:

Young and Hicks were on American Idol in the same year. Hicks talked with us about the difference that winning American Idol has made in his life.

“It’s amazing, I’ve toured Southeast Asia, written a book, starred on Broadway, sold a million records,”said Hicks.

There’s more (including video) at the link.

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REVIEW: GREASE Featuring Taylor Hicks Takes the Stage at the Fox Theatre
By Chris Gibson
January 13, 2010

This author is a Grease afficionado and didn’t love the production. He offers up a review that is not glowing, but his criticisms are tempered with kindness. His critique of Taylor may offend some, but to me it sounds like he is a fan of Taylor’s voice even if he was not impressed with his take on the Teen Angel (emphasis added by me):

Taylor Hicks disappoints as the Teen Angel, toning down his naturally soulful voice to suit the material.

His criticisms are less with the performer and more with the performance (which I choose to see focused more towards the director/producer rather than the singers).

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Judith Newmark of the St. Louis Post Dispatch seems a tad more forgiving:

The things that make “Grease” seem kind of silly are exactly the same things that make it a hit: its songs, its dances and its familiarity. This latest outing, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, doesn’t mess with a winning formula.

And –

The putative star of the show is Taylor Hicks, the 2006 winner of “American Idol.” He plays Teen Angel, a memorable character who advises a “Beauty School Dropout” to go back to high school.

Wearing a sparkling blue suit, Hicks plays the Angel with tongue-in-cheek aplomb. But let’s face it, the whole part comes down to one number. That is not exactly a leading role, so it’s no surprise that at the end of the show, Hicks performs a solo from his new CD. It has nothing to do with “Grease,” but his fans in the audience are entitled to that much; afterward, he autographed the CDs in the lobby.

Ever-familiar ‘Grease’ returns to the Fox
By Judith Newmark
POST-DISPATCH THEATER CRITIC

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Jeff Ritter of The Trades was impressed by Taylor:

As Teen Angel, he only had one small part, but he made the most of it, demonstrating good showmanship and a great voice. As he crooned at Frenchy during her dream sequence, she got a line in that drew a strong laugh from the audience: “I voted for you!” Hicks surprised the crowd with a song after the curtain calls. I wish I’d caught the name but it was drowned out by the whistles and cheers from my section. It was a bluesy number that also featured a bit of harmonica playing by Hicks. Anyone who can jam on the under-appreciated harmonica is OK in my book.

Stage Review: Grease
by Jeff Ritter
Published: January 13, 2010

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And this reviewer seemed to love the whole thing!

this performance of GREASE is one that you do not want to miss while it is in town. The show runs from January 12 through the 24. The entire cast does a fantastic job throughout, and the set design and music are superb. The show is full of iconic songs and great performances, that will keep you having fun from beginning to end. And if you are a fan of the movie, you are sure to love this version.

On Taylor:

One of the characters who is constantly trying to find themselves throughout the story is Frenchy. She can’t seem to find the right school, right career – or even the right hair color. But her innocence and good nature make her an extremely likable character, and Kate Morgan Chadwick does a tremendous job in the role. As she tries to figure out what to do, she is visited by Teen Angel – played by American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks. Here he sings “Beauty School Dropout” with a great backdrop and props. Hicks turns a performance that could be simple and without much character, into something fun and very animated. It is a shame that he doesn’t have any other scenes in the show. But Taylor Hicks fans will not be disappointed with what they see.

“GREASE” is the Word – Review of Opening Night at the Fox Theater in St. Louis
By Kevin ⋅ January 14, 2010

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Grease at the Fox Theatre – St. Louis, MO
January 12 2010 – 8:00P
January 13 2010 – 8:00P
January 14 2010 – 8:00P
January 15 2010 – 8:00P
January 16 2010 – 2:00P & 8:00P
January 17 2010 – 2:00P & 7:30P
January 19 2010 – 8:00P
January 20 2010 – 8:00P
January 21 2010 – 1:00P & 8:00P
January 22 2010 – 8:00P <—- Signed Performance
January 23 2010 – 2:00P & 8:00P
January 24 2010 – 2:00P

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