American Idol 2009 Summer Tour

It’s become a yearly ritual, the annual American Idol summer tour.

The American Idol tour kicks off July 5th in Portland, Oregon and is scheduled to conclude in Manchester, New Hampshire on September 15th. In all, the Idol contestants are scheduled to perform 50 dates in cities such as Tampa, Charlotte, Hartford, Saint Louis and Providence.

The 2009 American Idols.

With terrestrial radio nearly extinct, American Idol is one of the few places music fans can go to hear sugary, bubble gum pop.

American Idol is not in the Land of Punt, but the singing game show isn’t shunned either. While the show is pure schmaltz, kitsch, camp, arch, bathos, maudlin and completely cheesy it’s also devilishly fun. American Idol is a sport for people who don’t like sports. After all, the show has all the characteristics of an athletic competition: performers, fans, strategy, pressure, an arena, officials, a season, Ryan Seacrest.

Then after the “Super Bowl” of A.I. (the season finale) the players take a victory lap ala their summer tour. As the Idols visit places like Dallas and Atlantic City, fans can buy American Idol tickets for one last chance to see their favorite singers in person and on stage—all without having to sit through trailers for awful Fox shows.

For most of the singers involved in this summer’s Idol tour, it will be their last brush with fame—their last chance for attention. For others, it just the first of many excursions they’ll undertake throughout their career… as performers in national touring companies.

Several former Idols have gone on to become part of traveling Broadway shows, as well as on- and off- Broadway shows. Idol singers seem to have better success on the stage than in the studio.

While it’s one step above singing on a cruise ship and two steps above singing in the stage production of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, being a part of a national touring company (of a major Broadway production) is fine work if you want to sing for a living. It sure beats flipping burgers or being Clay Aiken.

However, wasn’t that their impetus to be on American Idol in the first place? So they could be a pop star and not a relative obscure performer in a traveling musical?

So this summer when the Idol tour comes to Fort Lauderdale, you may hear Danny Gokey sing R&B. But next year he might come to town singing “Seventy-six Trombones” as Professor Harold Hill.

Sadly, for the ten Idol contestants involved, it will more than likely be the last time they’ll ever be relevant.

American Idols in The Theater

Tamyra Gray – Mimi in Rent, Priya in Bombay Dreams
Vanessa Olivarez – Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray (Toronto)
Clay Aiken – Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Spamalot
LaToya London – Nettie in The Color Purple (National Tour)
Diana DeGarmo – Penny Pingleton in Hairspray, Brooklyn in Brooklyn (National Tour)
Fantasia Barrino – Celie in The Color Purple
Constantine Maroulis – Sammy in The Wedding Singer, Drew in Rock Of Ages
Anthony Federov – Matt in The Fantasticks (Off-Broadway)
Ace Young – Kenickie in Grease
Taylor Hicks – Teen Angel in Grease
Ruben StuddardFats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin (National Tour)
Frenchie DavisRent and Fats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin (National Tour)
Josh Strickland – Disney’s Tarzan
Anwar Robinson – Tom Collins in Rent
TrenyceFats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin (National Tour)
Amy Adams – The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (National Tour)

Land of Punt Predictions For Current Idols

Adam Lambert - Spidey in Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark (National Tour)
Allison Iraheta – Title role in new musical by 30 Rock creators called Jackie Jormp-Jomp
Anoop Desai – Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionare: The Musical (off Broadway)
Danny Gokey – Any of the gay characters from Rent (National Tour)
Kris Allen – Fiyero in Wicked (Glendale)
Lil Rounds – CC White in Dreamgirls (National Tour)
Matt Giraud – Jud fry in Oklahoma! (North Little Rock Dinner Theater)
Megan Joy – Vera Charles in Mame(National Tour)
Michael Sarver – Igor in Young Frankenstein (National Tour)
Scott MacIntyre – The Rum Tum Tugger in Cats (Great Lakes Tour)

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