Michael Wartella, seen on Broadway in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tuck Everlasting, and Wicked, is set to star as Dion DiMucci in an upcoming workshop of a new musical based on the musician's life titled The Wanderer (a nod to the 1968 song by Dion, as he was better known).
Dion's other popular hits included "Runaround Sue", "Ruby Baby" and "Lovers Who Wander." The new musical will chronicle his life and the role he played in rock and roll history.
Also tapped for the fall workshop in New York City is Anastasia star Christy Altomare, who will star as Dion's wife Susan, and New Kids on the Block's Joey McIntyre, who will play Johnny.
The Wanderer is written by Charles Messina and directed by Kenneth Ferrone with choreography by Sarah O’Gleby. The workshop will take place September 13 and 14 at the Jerome Robbins Theatre at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Further casting includes Johnny Tammaro as Dion’s father, Pat DiMucci; Joli Tribuzio as Dion’s mother, Frances DiMucci; Michael Kostroff as Bob Schwartz, one of Dion’s management team; Michael Mastro as Gene Schwartz, Bob’s brother and one of Dion’s management team; Stephen Cerf as the Big Bopper; Billy Finn as Buddy Holly; Miguel Jarquin-Moreland as a young Ritchie Valens; Lance Roberts as Willie Green; and Holly Ann Butler and Natalie Gallo, who will be part of the ensemble.
Additional casting will be announced soon.
The Wanderer is produced by Jill Menza and Charles Messina.