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Grease

Ah, the innocence of summer love in the 1950s. The faux-machismo of high school guys, and the faux-innocence of high school girls. “Grease” is memorable for a lot of reasons, and odds are if you’ve never Danny resist and infuriate Sandy on stage, you’ve seen him do it in the movie.

Curiously, the songs “Sandy,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You” and “You’re The One That I Want” were not in the 1972 original Broadway production. Now you can hear those songs and original classics such as “Summer Nights” and “Greased Lightnin’” when the national touring company comes to your town.

Another highlight of this tour is 2006 “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks, who’s playing the Teen Angel. Though he only has one song in the show (“Beauty School Dropout”), Hicks will also perform a single from his latest album, “The Distance,” during the encore. He’ll also sign autographs after the show in the lobby. But first, he answered some questions about dealing with fame and acting for the first time.

On “Idol” your fans were called the “Soul Patrol.” Is the “Soul Patrol” still intact?

Yes, they are a thriving fan base, due in part because I've been on the road since February 2005, both with “Idol” and the new record. You have to strike while the iron is hot, and you have to stay out there. I know how hard this business is.

What’s been the craziest thing someone has done or said to you because of your fame?

That's a tough one -- there's been a bunch. One night I came out of a theatre, and someone had pulled a highway billboard sign down for an ad placed for me for a record. I walked out and saw my big, gray head on the ground and they wanted me to sign it. You should have seen the size of the Sharpie.

How is the live theatre similar/different than a concert?

In live theatre an audience is into a storyline, and you have to understand your place in the storyline. During a concert, each song has its own storyline. For someone with zero theatrical experience, I've learned how to interact with someone and act.

If it was Taylor Hicks instead of the Teen Angel giving Frenchy advice about dropping out of beauty school, what would you tell her?

That she needs to put down the teasing comb and go back to high school. Also, have fun in high school and get a degree. And then go to college.

You know, I’ve seen “Grease” many times and I still have absolutely no idea what a teasing comb is.

[Laughs} Neither did I before I took the role, then I was thrust into the 1950s and learned quickly.

Did [movie Teen Angel] Frankie Avalon influence your performance at all?

No, because I wanted to make the role my own. I tried to go in with as clear a mind as I could about my version of Teen Angel, and I was allowed the freedom to be creative.