Welcome to Radar, where we run down the up-and-coming arts events to mark your calendar for. Todays edition is a perennial favorite that you can't help singing along to, no matter how hard you try.
Forget what your preacher told you: Grease is the word, and the 50s-era rock n roll musical about Danny, a leather-clad, too-cool for school T-Bird, and Sandy, a prim and proper gal from down under, kicks off the 2009-2010 season at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center later this month. Songs like Summer Nights, Greased Lightning and Youre the One That I Want that inspired love (or, frequently, intense hate) for John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are reprised for the stage, and in one of the most bizarre casting decisions of all time, Taylor Hicks (of American Idol but decidedly not Just for Men fame) urges beauty school dropouts to go back to high school in his role as Teen Angel. Then again, it might be an improvement over the fake-baked, afroed glory of Frankie Avalon. (Pictured: Will Blum, Brian Crum, David Ruffin, Eric Schneider and Nick Verina; photo by Joan Marcus) Aug. 18-23, 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun., Carol Morsani Hall, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa, $39.50-$72.50, 813-229-7827, tbpac.org. Franki Weddington