The Paper Mill Playhouse's world premiere of The Wanderer, the new Broadway-aimed musical based on the life of Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci, begins previews March 24.
Directed by Emmy nominee Kenneth Ferrone and featuring choreography by Sarah O’Gleby and music direction, orchestrations, and arrangements by Sonny Paladino, the production will officially open at the New Jersey venue April 3. Performances continue through April 24.
The cast is headed by Mike Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Dion, Christy Altomare (Anastasia) as Susan, Joey McIntyre (Waitress) as Johnny, Kingsley Leggs (The Color Purple) as Willie Green, Jasmine Rogers (Becoming Nancy) as Melody Green, Jeffrey Schecter (Paper Mill’s On the Town) as Bob Schwartz, Johnny Tammaro (Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding) as Pat DiMucci, and Joli Tribuzio (A Room of My Own) as Frances DiMucci.
The ensemble includes Joe Barbara, Mackenzie Bell, Stephen Cerf, Jordan Dobson, Josh Dunn, Billy Finn, Natalie Gallo, Miguel Jarquin-Moreland, Will Jewett, Michal Kolaczkowski, Jess LeProtto, Janayé McAlpine, Katie Pohlman, Sydney Skye, and Gabi Stapula.
Produced in cooperation with DiMucci, The Wanderer is written by Charles Messina (A Room of My Own) and features scenic design by Tony winner Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Sarah Laux, lighting design by Jake DeGroot, sound design by Tony winner John Shivers, and hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe. Rick Sordelet is the fight director, and Linda Marvel serves as the production stage manager. Casting is by The Telsey Office.
Both as lead singer of Dion and the Belmonts and then as a solo artist, Dion was one of the most popular American rock n’ roll performers of his time. He had 30 Top 40 hits in the late ’50s and ’60s, including “Runaround Sue,” “Teenager in Love," “I Wonder Why,” “Ruby Baby,” “Abraham, Martin and John,” and “The Wanderer.” He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
The Wanderer is produced by Paper Mill Playhouse in association with Jill Menza and Messina.