As previously announced, the musical about the lives of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz will cast "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" host Jai Rodriguez as the Cuban bandleader with Jim J. Bullock, the "Too Close for Comfort" star seen on Broadway in Hairspray, as Ackerman.
Newcomers to the company include Fleur Phillips as Lucy, Leslie Easterbrook as Dede, Danny Bolero as Desiderio, Joaquin Torres as Junior, Eileen Galindo as Lolita and Michelle Blakely as Carole Lombard.
The ensemble will comprise Whitney Avalon, Troy Burgess, Matt Crabtree, Philip D'Amore, Hattie Davis, Rachel Genevieve, Kevin W. High, Michael Lorre, Stacey Moseley, Alyssa Preston, Bobby Reed and Masaya Palmer.
Robert Bartley directs with musical direction by Mark Janas.
Dance With Me features a book and score by Bartley and Danny Whitman. The musical, according to press notes, is described as such: "Escaping the bloodshed of his native Island, a young Cuban boy sets sail on a turbulent journey that leads him all the way to Hollywood and into the arms of a fiery, redheaded movie star named Lucille Ball. At the climax of Dance With Me, Desi and Lucy put their money, their trust and their dreams on the line in a gamble to save one thing — their marriage. They risk it all on an untested medium called television. Can these two star crossed lovers blaze a path that defies Hollywood and history to be together?" Jai Rodriguez has been seen on Broadway as Carmen Ghia in The Producers and as Angel in Rent. He also starred in Off-Broadway's Zanna, Don't! (which spawned a cast album), performed in Lincoln Center Theater's Spinning Into Butter and appeared in the acclaimed concert benefit version of Hair (also on recording). For his work on "Queer Eye," he received a 2004 Emmy Award as creative consultant/host.
Dance With Me was recently part of the York Theatre Company's Developmental Reading Series and is a finalist for both the 2008 National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival and the 2008 Eugene O'Neill Music Theatre Conference.
Dance With Me will be presented July 10-12 at 8 PM and July 13 at 4 PM at 916 North Formosa Avenue in West Hollywood, CA. Tickets, priced $15, are available by visiting www.DanceWithMeTheMusical.com.