Complete casting for the upcoming The Heart of Rock and Roll featuring the songs of Huey Lewis has been announced: Newsies‘ Corey Cott and Wicked‘s McKenzie Kurtz will play the leads, a will-they/won’t-they couple at the center of the story.
Those and other castings were announced today by Lewis and producers Hunter Arnold, Tyler Mitchell and Kayla Greenspan. The Heart of Rock and Roll, inspired by and featuring the songs of ’80s hitmakers Huey Lewis and The News, will open on Broadway at The James Earl Jones Theatre with previews beginning on Friday, March 29 before an opening night of Monday, April 22.
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Said Lewis, “The casting process has so far been the most thrilling part of creating this show. It’s all just words and notes on a page until an actor gives it life. I am so grateful that this incredible company, made up of some of the world’s most talented stage performers, will be telling our story and singing our songs.”
He added that the chemistry between Cott and Kurtz “is nothing short of electric.”
Also announced for the principal cast are Josh Breckenridge (Come From Away), F. Michael Haynie (Wicked), Zoe Jensen (Six), Tamika Lawrence (Caroline or Change), Raymond J. Lee (Sweeney Todd), John-Michael Lyles (A Strange Loop), Orville Mendoza (Swept Away), Billy Harrigan Tighe (Pippin) and John Dossett (Wicked).
The ensemble is Mike Baerga, Tommy Bracco, TyNia René Brandon, Olivia Cece, Taylor Marie Daniel, Lindsay Joan, Ross Lekites, Robin Masella, Kara Menendez, Michael Olaribigbe, Kevin Pariseau, and Robert Pendillaf. Swings are Joe Moeller, Jennifer Noble, Fredric Rodriguez Odgaard, and Leah Read.
The official synopsis: Set in 1987 and jam-packed with Huey Lewis hits including “Do You Believe in Love”, “Hip to Be Square” and “If This Is It,” The Heart of Rock and Roll centers on a couple of twentysomethings on the cusp of their futures – Bobby, a rock and roller who’s traded his guitar for the corporate ladder and his boss Cassandra who’s always put the family business first. When they both get a second shot at their dreams, it’ll take “The Power of Love” and a little help from their friends to figure out what kind of life they really want.
The production will feature a book by Jonathan A. Abrams, and story by Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan A. Abrams. Music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Brian Usifer, musical direction by Will Van Dyke, choreography is by Lorin Latarro and The Heart of Rock and Roll will be directed by Gordon Greenberg.
Additional creative team members are Derek McLane (Scenic Designer), Jen Caprio (Costume Designer), Japhy Weideman (Lighting Designer), John Shivers (Sound Designer), and Nikiya Mathis (Hair, Wig, and Makeup Designer).
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