Savannah Wise Is Rock of Ages' New Leading Lady

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09 Jul 2009

Savannah Wise
Savannah Wise

Savannah Wise will officially take over the the lead role of Sherrie in the Tony-nominated musical Rock of Ages at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre effective immediately.

Wise has been playing the role since original star Amy Spanger departed the production after the Tony Awards. Spanger had been scheduled to return to the production June 29 but did not due to "personal reasons."

In a statement lead producer Matt Weaver said, "It is that rare and fortunate instance in show business where it becomes necessary for the understudy to step into the role and she exceeds your wildest expectations."

Wise understudied the role since performances began on Broadway March 17. Her theatre credits include New York productions of Les Misérables and Rock of Ages as well as the touring production of Disney's High School Musical and regional stagings of Happy Days, Beauty and the Beast and Annie Get Your Gun.

The Rock cast also features "American Idol" finalist and 2009 Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis (The Wedding Singer) as Drew and James Carpinello (Saturday Night Fever, VH1's "So NoTORIous") as Stacee Jaxx.



The company includes Adam Dannheisser (The Coast of Utopia, Twelfth Night), Mitchell Jarvis (Fiddler on the Roof), Michele Mais (Roza), Lauren Molina (Sweeney Todd), Paul Schoeffler (Sweet Charity, Nine), Wesley Taylor (See Rock City), Ericka Hunter (Flower Drum Song, 42nd Street), Jeremy Jordan (Little Dog Laughed tour), Michael Minarik (Les Miserables), Angel Reed (Saturday Night Fever tour), Bahiyah Sayyed-Gaines (Pal Joey, The Color Purple), Katherine Tokarz (White Christmas, A Chorus Line), Andre Ward (Xanadu, The Producers), Tad Wilson (The Full Monty) and Jeremy Woodard (Glory Days).

The onstage band, ARSENAL, comprises music director/keyboardist Henry Aronson, lead guitarist Joel Hoekstra, drummer Jon Weber, bassist Winston Roye and guitar player David Gibbs, who also wrote the original arrangements.

Savannah Wise with Off-Broadway cast members Will Swenson, Constantine Maroulis and Mitch Jarvis (foreground)
photo by Joan Marcus
"In 1987 on the Sunset Strip," Rock of Ages production notes state, "a small town girl met a big city rocker and in L.A.'s most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the '80s. . . . [The musical is] an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and many more."

Rock of Ages was penned by Chris D'Arienzo and features direction by Kristin Hanggi and choreography by Kelly Devine. The creative team also includes scenic designer Beowulf Boritt, costume designer Gregory Gale, lighting designer Jason Lyons, sound designer Peter Hylenski and projection designer Zachary Borovay wither music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp.

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, John Butler/Sara Katz and Prospect Pictures.

The Brooks Atkinson Theatre is located in Manhattan at 256 West 47th Street. For tickets call (212) 307-4100 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.