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'Rock & Roll Man' sets full Off-Broadway cast

The new musical about pioneering radio DJ Alan Freed features a score of rock hits by Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and many more artists.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

They're ready to rock! Complete casting has been set for the Off-Broadway premiere of Rock & Roll Man, a new musical by Gary Kupper, Larry Marshak, and Rose Caiola. Performances begin at New World Stages on June 2 ahead of a June 21 opening night.

Rock & Roll Man tells the story of Alan Freed, the radio DJ who coined the term "rock 'n' roll" and became the first white DJ to play and promote music by Black and white artists in the mainstream, launching many careers. The show takes place on the last day of his life, when Freed dreams his legacy is on trial.

Joining the previously announced Constantine Maroulis as Freed and Joe Pantoliano as Morris Levy/Leo Mintz are Bob Ari as Hoover, Rodrick Covington as Little Richard, and Valisia Lekae as LaVern Baker. The ensemble includes Jamonte D. Bruten, Andy Christopher, AJ Davis, Autumn Guzzardi, Anna Hertel, Matthew Morgan, Dominque Scott, and Eric B. Turner.

Additionally, Joe Barbara, Natalie Kaye Clater, Lawrence Dandridge, Chase Peacock, and Brownyn Tarboton serve as swings.

Kupper, Marshak, and Caiola co-wrote the book for Rock & Roll Man, and Kupper also wrote original songs. The new tunes appear alongside rock hits including “I Put A Spell On You,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Tutti Frutti,” and more.

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