Idol: The Musical Replaces Entire Cast Prior to Opening

News   Idol: The Musical Replaces Entire Cast Prior to Opening America didn't get the chance to vote, but the entire cast of Idol: The Musical — based on the fan worship of former "American Idol" contestant Clay Aiken — has gone home. Producers announced Aug. 3 that the entire cast was replaced prior to the show's official opening.
Philip Deyesso in Idol: The Musical.
Philip Deyesso in Idol: The Musical. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Idol began previews at the 45th Street Theatre July 5 and will officially open Aug. 12. Directed by Daniel Tursi, the original company featured Babs Rubenstein as Adrienne, the musical's bad guy; Jennie Riverso as Alex, a brutally combative diamond-in-the-rough who fights all of her battles with her two fists; Nikita Richards as Cass, a Goth-chick whose voodoo doll is named Willard; Courtney Ellis as Cicaida, a child prodigy with an encyclopedic knowledge of the world; Jon Balcourt as Connor, the home-schooled kid; Ryan Sprague as Duncan, a loveable goofball obsessed with Western apparel; Joella Burt as Emily, the alpha-misfit; Joe Walker as J.D., the basketball phenom who longs to be a Chippendale dancer; and Roy George-Thiemann as Kodi, a self-appointed celebrity waiting to happen.

The company now features Katy Reinsel as Adrienne, Jillian Giacchi as Alex, Kierstyn Sharrow as Cass, Kaitlin Mercurio as Cicaida, Philip Deyesso as Connor, Saum Eskandani as Duncan, Stephanie Robinson as Emily, Joe Walker as J.D., Shadae Smith as Kodi and Dawn Barry as Midge.

Idol: The Musical, according to press notes, is "a satirical musical comedy that focuses on the outrageous and delusional fan base of the hit television show. The musical takes place in Steubenville, Ohio where a group of misfit students are preparing for their high school graduation after which they are determined to drag themselves out of the dregs of the middle-of-nowhere. There are nine of them; all belonging to the same cult-like club that meets daily in a garage that doubles as a shrine to Clay Aiken. They are viciously ridiculed by the rest of Steubenville; a humiliating situation that doesn't deter their quest for all things Clay. They are victims of A.D.D., Ritalin, their misguided obsessions and their innocent longing for their elusive '15 minutes.' One of them pumps gas. One of them is home-schooled. One of them is a walking encyclopedia. And one of them is a basketball phenom who would rather be a Chippendale dancer. The other five have equally bizarre back-stories too complicated to tell here; but suffice it to know that the real bad-guy of the piece is a total harpy, prima donna named Adrienne. She gives new meaning to the word villain. The story heats up when the mid-American leg of the 'Idol Tour,' starring Clay Aiken, is announced to be playing Chicago, Memphis, Louisville, Scranton, Charleston, Greensboro, Roanoke and Steubenville. Steubenville! Let the worship begin."

The musical, based on a concept by Todd Ellis, features music and lyrics by Jon Balcourt with a book and lyrics by Bill Boland. Choreographers are Joe Walker and Jason Bumpus.

The design team comprises Brian Howard (scenic), Charles Shatzkin (lighting) and Keith Axton (costume). Song titles include "Idolize," "Small Town Blues," "Fifteen Minutes," "Discipline," "Chip & Dale Days," "Prima Donna Fabulous," "Quakin' for Aiken," "Burnin' Hunk of Clay," "Simon Says," "Distance," "Family of Misfits" and "Realize."

Show times are Wednesdays at 3:15 PM and 8:15 PM, Thursdays and Fridays at 8:15 PM, Saturdays at 3:15 PM and 8:15 PM and Sundays at 3:15 PM and 8:15 PM.

The 45th Street Theatre is located in Manhattan at 354 West 45th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Tickets, priced $60 (general admission) and $25 (student rush), are available by calling (212) 868-4444 or by visiting www.smarttix.com.

(l.-r.) Philip Deyesso, Shadae Smith, Stephanie Robinson, Jillian Giacchi, Joe Walker, Dawn Barry, Kierstyn Sharrow, Katy Reinsel, Saum Eskandani and Kaitlin Mercurio in <i>Idol: The Musical</i>.
(l.-r.) Philip Deyesso, Shadae Smith, Stephanie Robinson, Jillian Giacchi, Joe Walker, Dawn Barry, Kierstyn Sharrow, Katy Reinsel, Saum Eskandani and Kaitlin Mercurio in Idol: The Musical. Photo by Carol Rosegg
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