Taylor Hicks will make his Broadway debut on June 6, playing Teen Angel in "Grease" at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
APTaylor Hicks said being in New York for three months will allow him to continue working on his next CD. He's been writing songs and recording demos in Nashville, Hicks said, and hopes to release a new single in the fall.
The Hoover native and former "American Idol" winner, 31, will perform in the musical through Sept. 7. Hicks plans to announce his Broadway run on television this morning, on NBC's "The Today Show."
"I'm honored for the opportunity to experience Broadway," Hicks said Thursday. "I feel blessed and excited."
He'll appear in one number in the musical, singing "Beauty School Dropout." That's traditional for his character, a hip guardian angel who makes a showy appearance in Act II, offering advice to a teen named Frenchy.
"This particular part, Teen Angel, really allows me to put my toe in the water and test the waters," Hicks said. "I've always been a little over the top, so this is perfect for me."
If he does well on stage and draws audiences, Hicks said, he'll probably look for another, larger role on Broadway.
Meantime, he's been listening to "Beauty School Dropout" and meeting with the "Grease" team to create his niche in the musical.
"It's a cool song," Hicks said. "I can see myself being able to Taylorize it. Who knows? Maybe I'll do the Elvis meets Aretha Franklin meets Joe Cocker version of 'Beauty School Dropout.' I don't think anybody's taken that approach yet. I'll get with the producers and sink my teeth into the role."
Hicks said he's never seen a theater production of "Grease," but has watched the 1978 movie version, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as lovelorn 1950s high-schoolers. In the film, Frankie Avalon played the Teen Angel.
On stage, the character has been portrayed by singers ranging from Chubby Checker to Al Jarreau to Jennifer Holliday.
"Grease" made its first appearance on Broadway in 1972, had a long run and was revived in 1994. The show has been produced in London over the years, as well, and national touring casts have traveled throughout the United States.
The current Broadway production, which opened in August 2007, stars Max Crumm and Laura Osnes, who won their parts on the TV reality series "Grease: You're the One That I Want."
Hicks is likely to be the most recognizable name in the cast, despite his relatively small part. Teen Angel tends to be a flamboyant force in the show, typically wearing a large, fluffy set of wings.
Will Hicks continue that costume tradition? "I might," he said. "I might be flying, too."