A spokesman for the Kennedy Center confirmed that Cerveris — who also starred on Broadway in The Who's Tommy and Off-Broadway in the title role of Hedwig and the Angry Inch — will portray the lead role of Giorgio in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's dark musical. Already cast in this tale of obsessive love are Judy Kuhn (Fosca), Rebecca Luker (Clara), Phillip Goodwin (Dr. Tambouri), Bob McDonald (Lombardi), Lawrence Redmond (Barri), Daniel Felton (Torasso), Michael Forrest (Rizzolli), Ty Hreben (Ludovic), Teresa Reid (Mother), Stephen Schmidt (Father) and Tracy Lynn Olivera (Mistress).
Eric Schaeffer, who is the artistic director of the eagerly awaited Sondheim Celebration, will helm Passion as well as the Celebration's production of Sunday in the Park with George. The score for Passion includes such Sondheim tunes as "Happiness," "I Read," "I Wish I Could Forget You," "Loving You" and "No One Has Ever Loved Me." The original 1994 Broadway company featured Jere Shea (Giorgio), Marin Mazzie (Clara) and Donna Murphy (Fosca), who won a Tony Award for her work.
Cerveris received a Tony Award nomination for his performance in the title role of The Who's Tommy, a part he also played for two years in Germany. He originated role of architect Thomas Andrews in the Tony winning musical Titanic and also appeared onstage in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Total Eclipse, Abingdon Square and Life Is a Dream. His film and television credits include the recent Fox series "American Embassy" as well as "Fame," "Equalizer," "Strangers," "Tokyo Pop," "Steel and Lace" and "Rock and Roll High School Forever." Cerveris has also enjoyed success as a rock guitarist-vocalist in both the U.S. and U.K.
Passion will play the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2700 F Street, NW) July 19-Aug. 23. Tickets are on sale now and are available by calling (800) 444-1324 or online at kennedy-center.org. The Celebration also includes productions of Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Company, A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd. —By Andrew Gans