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Frankie J. Grande to play Franz in Rock of Ages

Tom Millward
Tom Millward


Big Brother star Frankie J. Grande will join the Broadway company of the five-time Tony Award nominated musical comedy Rock of Ages, currently playing at the Helen Hayes Theatre, in the role of Franz. His limited engagement begins on 10 November and runs through to 18 January 2015. Cody Scott Lancaster will play his last performance in the role on 9 November 2014.

Mr Grande released a statement saying: "Ever since my first role on Broadway, I have dreamed of playing Franz. I couldn't be more excited to finally get this opportunity, especially alongside this incredible cast."

He made his Broadway debut in 2007 in the ABBA-themed musical 'Mamma Mia!' and has also produced Broadway shows such as 'Hamlet' starring Jude Law in 2009, 'La Bête' starring David Hyde Pierce in 2010, and 'Born Yesterday' starring Jim Belushi in 2011. He was last seen in this year's off-Broadway revival of 'Pageant', and as a contestant on CBS' 16th season of 'Big Brother.'

Producer Scott Prisand commented: "We are beyond thrilled to have Frankie return to Broadway and join the cast of Rock of Ages. With his exceptional, triple-threat talent and effervescent personality, he is the perfect match for our show and the role of the hilarious and endearing 'Franz'."

In other news, Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis has extended his limited engagement and will now continue in the role of Drew through to 18 January 2015, and Lauren Zakrin, a finalist on MTV's "Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods", will make her Broadway debut, as she takes over from Carrie St. Louis as Sherrie from 3 November 2014.

Rock of Ages opened on Broadway on 7 Apr 2009 at the Brooks Atkinson, where it previewed from 17 Mar 2009. The show played its final performance at the Brooks Atkinson on 9 Jan 2011, it then resumed performances at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre on 24 Mar 2011, and is currently booking through to 29 March 2015.

Synopsis: "In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small town girl met a big city rocker and in LA's most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the '80s. It's an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Foreigner and many more."

Rock of Ages opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre to mixed reviews: "A seriously silly, absurdly enjoyable arena-rock musical" (New York Times), "An irresistible, offbeat trip of a show that hits all the right notes." (NY1); "Cheesy exercise in rock nostalgia" (Hollywood Reporter); "A somewhat glib nostalgia trip" (NewsDay).

The cast currently features Genson Blimline (Lonny), Mitchell Jarvis (Stacee Jaxx), Adam Dannheisser (Dennis), Cody Scott Lancaster (Franz), Constantine Maroulis (Drew), Josephine Rose Roberts (Regina), Carrie St. Louis (Sherrie), Paul Schoeffler (Hertz) and Teresa Stanley (Justice).

The show is written by Chris D'Arienzo, directed by Kristin Hanggi and choreographed by Kelly Devine (Jersey Boys - Associate Choreographer).

Scenic design is by Beowulf Boritt, costume design is by Gregory Gale, lighting design is by Jason Lyons (The Threepenny Opera) and sound design is by Peter Hylenski.

Rock of Ages is produced on Broadway by Matthew Weaver, Carl Levin, Jeff Davis, Barry Habib, Scott Prisand, and Corner Store Fund I, in association with Janet Billig Rich, Hillary Weaver, Toni Habib, Stefany & Simon Bergson, Charles Rolecek, Susanne Brook, Israel Wolfson, Max Gottlieb, Jennifer Maloney and Prospect Pictures.

The musical was adapted into a comedy musical film which was released in Jun 2012. Directed by Adam Shankman, it stars Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin and Tom Cruise.

- by Tom Millward

Frankie J. Grande

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