“Summer Lovin'” Gets Dose of “Idol”-Style Soul


Stop pretty much any woman on the street -- okay, and a large chunk of the male population, too -- who happened to be between the ages of 5-30 when the film version of "Grease" came out, and ask them to warble "Hopelessly Devoted to You." Not only will they be able to perfectly recall most of the lyrics, they'll likely act out the rest of the film verbatim. Even the cartoon hot dogs jumping around at the drive-in.

There are, science may yet prove, more "Grease" fans than there are actual human beings on earth, which we know is totally weird. But "Grease" buffs are certainly challenged in their devotion by "American Idol" fans. Here's the thing: Throw all those people in the same room and you're probably dealing with a lot of crossover.

Which brings us to the latest production of the Sandy-and-Danny-woo-and-warble spectacular, which stars none other than Taylor Hicks, the silvery-haired "American Idol" winner from back in 2006. He's playing "Teen Angel," the smooth-voiced being from another plane who gently coaxes Frenchy to follow her beauty school-themed dreams. We adored Frankie Avalon in the film, and we're betting Mr. Hicks will put the requisite soulful spin on his otherworldly role.

"Beauty School Dropout" done with a Hicksian spin is sure to lend fresh oomph to the musical which, admittedly, has oodles of oomph. Stockard Channing, as Rizzo, taught us all about oomph at a young age, and for that we will always be thankful.

March 10-22
Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood

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