Meet the Cast of THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL, Beginning Previews Tonight on Broadway

The musical  will open at The James Earl Jones Theatre on Monday, April 22.

By: Mar. 29, 2024
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Meet the Cast of THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL, Beginning Previews Tonight on Broadway
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The curtain rises tonight at the James Earl Jones Theatre, where previews begin for The Heart of Rock and Roll- the new musical inspired by the iconic songs written and performed by Huey Lewis and The News.

Set in 1987 and jam-packed with Huey Lewis megahits like “Do You Believe in Love”, “Hip to Be Square” , and “If This Is It,” The Heart of Rock and Roll centers on a couple of twenty-somethings on the cusp of their futures—Bobby, a rock and roller who’s traded his guitar for the corporate ladder and his boss Cassandra who’s always put the family business first. When they both get a second shot at their dreams, it’ll take “The Power of Love” and a little help from their friends — to figure out what kind of life they really want. 

The cast of The Heart of Rock and Roll on Broadway features 27 performers, four Broadway debuts, and one Tony Award nominee (John Dossett).

The Heart of Rock and Roll takes up residence at the James Earl Jones Theatre following Gutenberg! The Musical!, which closed on January 28, 2024. This is the fourth show to play at this theatre since its renaming in 2022.

Meet the cast of The Heart of Rock and Roll below and watch as they meet the press here!

The Heart of Rock and RollCorey Cott - Bobby

Corey Cott (Bobby) returns to Broadway having previously starred as Donny Novitski in the musical Bandstand, Gaston Lachailles in the revival of Gigi, and his Broadway debut as Jack Kelly in Disney’s Newsies. On screen, he co-starred in the Fox series “Filthy Rich” and in the Hallmark movies Making Waves and Butlers in Love. Other appearances include: “The Equalizer,” “Chicago Med,” “Law & Order” and “L&O: SVU,” “Evil,” “The Good Fight,” “Z: The Beginning of Everything,” and the BBC miniseries “My Mother and Other Strangers.” Corey played Tony in Francesca Zambello’s productions of West Side Story at Chicago’s Lyric Theater and with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. He made his Carnegie Hall debut singing with Steven Reineke and the New York Pops, and recently sang with Rob Fisher and the San Diego Symphony under The Rady Shell. Corey is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.


The Heart of Rock and RollMcKenzie Kurtz - Cassandra

McKenzie Kurtz (Cassandra) recently starred as Glinda in the Broadway production of Wicked. She made her Broadway debut in Frozen and also appeared in the 1st National Tour. She can be seen as a guest star on Disney+’s “She/Hulk” as well as in NBC Live’s production of Annie in the fan-favorite role of Star to Be. Previous theatre credits include Trading Places (The Alliance), Footloose (The Muny) and Female Troubles (Williamstown). She is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance.


The Heart of Rock and RollJosh Breckenridge - Wyatt

Broadway: Come From Away, The Scottsboro Boys; The Ritz. Off-Broadway: The Scottsboro Boys; Saved. Nat'l Tour: The Book of Mormon. Reg'l: Sunday...George (Huntington), The Whipping Man (KC Rep), Tales of the City (ACT), TSB (Guthrie), Hairspray (Marriott Lincolnshire), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Cape Playhouse), HSM2 (NCT), Memphis (La Jolla/5th Ave), Dreamgirls (NCT) Film: Finding Me: Truth. BFA: CCM.


The Heart of Rock and RollF. Michael Haynie - Glenn

To my bandmates and the incredible artists who I’ve rocked with over the last seven years, “Once in the Loop, always in the Loop!” We wouldn’t be here without you. Broadway: Wicked, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Holler If Ya Hear Me. Olaf in Frozen (Tour). Off-Broadway: Carrie (MCC), Dogfight (Second Stage) and others. Regional: Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Ogunquit), Found (PTC), The Heart of Rock and Roll (Old Globe), and others. TV/Film: Jesus Christ Superstar Live! (NBC), Peter Pan LIVE! (NBC), Not Fade Away (Paramount). Special thanks to my friend and the biggest “Loop” fan there is, the legendary Huey Lewis. Thanks to my Moms, JP, Grace, FF&FA, GUESA, the (M)orons, and Nicolosi & Co. @fmichaelhaynie.


The Heart of Rock and RollZoe Jensen - Paige

Zoe Jensen recently completed her reign as Katherine Howard in the Broadway production of SIX. She made her Broadway debut in Dear Evan Hansen and starred as Eliza on the 1st National Tour of Hamilton (Angelica Tour). She appeared in the Off-Broadway production of We Are the Tigers and is featured on the Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording. Television: “Law & Order: SVU”. Zoe is a Rockford, IL native and graduated with a BFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Big thanks to Whole Artist Management and Paradigm. Endless love for my qwitches. Always for Mom and Dad. @Lanazoejensen


The Heart of Rock and RollTamika Lawrence - Roz

Two-time Grammy-winning singer, actor, and writer. Broadway: Caroline, or Change, Gettin’ the Band Back Together, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen (Virtual Cast), Beautiful, If/Then, Matilda, The Book of Mormon. Off-Broadway: Black No More (Drama Desk Nomination: Best Actress in a Musical), Hercules (The Public Theater), Rent, The Tempest (The Public Theater). Television: “That Damn Michael Che,” “Modern Love,” “The Last OG,” “The Wiz Live!” “Vinyl” (HBO), “Show Me a Hero” (HBO), “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: SVU.” Movies: Mean Girls, Better Nate Than Never, The Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hansen, White Girl, Breakable You. For Mom, Dad, and Bastian. @iamtamikalawrence.


The Heart of Rock and RollRaymond J. Lee - JJ

Raymond J. Lee is ecstatic to be living out his rock star dreams with this incredible group! Ray was most recently in the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd where he covered Pirelli and Beadle Bamford. Additional Broadway credits include Aladdin (Iago), Anything Goes (John), Groundhog Day (Ralph), Honeymoon in Vegas, and Mamma Mia! Other NY stage credits include Soft Power (The Public), Mack & Mabel (Encores!), The Wild Party (Encores!), and Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Public). Regional credits include the world premieres of Once Upon a One More Time (STC), Trading Places (Alliance), and Christmas in Connecticut (Goodspeed). Film/TV credits include Marriage Story, Fire Island, The Greatest Showman, “Law & Order,” “The First Lady,” “Succession,” “Billions,” “Red Oaks,” and “Smash.” He has voiced numerous projects for Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, and Netflix (including “Squid Game”), as well as multiple audiobooks and film/TV soundtracks. Thanks to Nicolosi, STG, and to the entire Heart of Rock and Roll team. Love to Robbi & Ella. Go U Northwestern!


The Heart of Rock and RollJohn-Michael Lyles - Eli

John-Michael Lyles is an Obie-winning actor who recently achieved his Broadway debut in the Pulitzer- and Tony-winning musical, A Strange Loop! His film debut was alongside Alec Baldwin in Blind, and he guest/co-starred in “The Other Two,” “Chicago PD,” “NCIS: New Orleans” & “The OA.” At NYC’s Barrow Street, he performed in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Flick, and played Tobias in their critically acclaimed Sweeney Todd. The New York Times lauded his “hauntingly simple performance” as the Courier in 1776 at NY City Center Encores, where he went on to perform in Love Life and Big River! He’s also been seen in This Ain’t No Disco (Atlantic), Brooklynite (Vineyard), and Jasper In Deadland (Prospect). Regionally, he played Dickon in CTG’s The Secret Garden, originated the role of Toby in Bliss at the 5th Avenue Theatre, co-starred in Second City’s production of The Art of Falling, and was deemed a “fleet and winning phenom on stage” in the Guthrie’s Choir Boy. As a Vivace Award-winning composer/lyricist/librettist, he’s been commissioned by 5th Avenue Theater’s Raise Your Voice program, and he’s currently co-writing a new musical, Shoot for the Moon, with prestigious support from The Relentless Award (finalist), Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, MTF Makers Cohort 2 and Dramatist Guild Fellows Class of ’21. He also wrote additional music for Second Stage’s We’re Gonna Die!


The Heart of Rock and RollOrville Mendoza - Fjord

Orville Mendoza most recently appeared in the East Coast premiere of Swept Away directed by Michael Mayer at Arena Stage. Broadway: Pacific Overtures, Peter and the Starcatcher. Off-Broadway: Plays for the Plague Year, Road Show, Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens, Passion, Found, Ivanov, The Seagull, Adrift in Macao (Barrymore Award winner and Drama Desk nomination). Many regional theatre credits. Toured the U.S. and Canada in Miss Saigon for 6 years. U.S. Television: “Billions,” “Dead Ringers,” “The Blacklist,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”


The Heart of Rock and RollBilly Harrigan Tighe - Tucker

Broadway: Pippin. West End: The Book of Mormon (Elder Price). Off-Broadway: Sweeney Todd (Anthony Hope). National Tours: Finding Neverland (J.M. Barrie), The Book of Mormon (Elder Price), Wicked (Fiyero), La Cage Aux Folles (JeanMichel), Dirty Dancing. Favorite Regional: Cinderella (Topher; Paper Mill Playhouse), Secret of My Success (Brantley; Paramount Theater), Cabaret (Cliff; Ogunquit Playhouse, Atlanta Opera), A Chorus Line (Zach; PCLO), Back Home Again (Ben; Lesher Center), Hairspray (Link; Marriott Theatre), Happy Days (Potsie; Goodspeed Opera House), Spamalot (Galahad; City Springs Theatre Company). Guest soloist for symphonies across the country and internationally. Co-director of City Springs Pre-Professional Conservatory with his wife, Kristine Reese. Love and thanks to BRS/GAGE, family, friends and Kristine for the endless support. For H!


The Heart of Rock and RollMike Baerga - Ensemble

TV/Film: Disney+ film Better Nate Than Ever, HBO’s We’re Here (Choreographer). Broadway: The Heart of Rock and Roll (Asst Dance Captain), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bad Cinderella, King Kong (Chita Rivera Award, Outstanding Ensemble; Special Tony Award, OCC Special Achievement for puppetry), Miss Saigon: 2017 Revival (Tony nomination, Best Revival), and Moulin Rouge (Lab). Off-Broadway/Concert: New York City Center, The Merry Widow at the Metropolitan Opera, Carmen at Houston Grand Opera (Soloist), Anyone Can Whistle (Carnegie Hall), 50 Years of Broadway (Kennedy Center). Regional: Can-Can, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, West Side Story (Bernardo), and Kiss Me, Kate (Gremio). Training: BA University of Houston, MFA Dance/Choreography NYU, Cedar Lake 360, Joffrey Ballet. Love to Mom/Dad/God. Follow: @MikeBaerga.


The Heart of Rock and RollTommy Bracco - Ensemble

It feels good to be back on Broadway. Grateful beyond words to play Danny Razzle in The Heart of Rock and Roll! Previous New York Theatre: Giulio in Pretty Woman: The Musical (OBC), Spot Conlon in Disney’s Newsies (OBC), Mike in A Chorus Line at City Center Encores, and The Hairy Ape at Park Avenue Armory. Other favorites include LeFou in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at The Muny, Sonny in Grease at Paper Mill Playhouse, and Harry the Horse in Guys and Dolls at Barrington Stage. In addition to theatre, Tommy was a contestant on the competition reality shows CBS’ “Big Brother” and MTV’s “The Challenge.” Check out his podcast with his family, REAL TAWK, available on all podcast streaming platforms! Extra love goes out to his parents, Debbi at IAG and his fiancé Joey! Lastly, extra gratitude to the audience for coming to see the show and continuing to support live theatre!


The Heart of Rock and RollTyNia Brandon - Ensemble

TyNia René Brandon (she/they) is a Charlotte, NC, native. Favorite credits include Some Like It Hot (OBC), The Lion King, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. All thanks to family, friends, Clear Talent Group, and Leo. Reaching back, moving forward. IG: @thetybrand.


The Heart of Rock and RollOlivia Cece - Ensemble

Olivia Cece was born and raised in Cranston, RI, where she trained at APAC for 15 years and then Miami, Florida, for a short period of time. She then moved to New York City to attend the prestigious Pace University Commercial Dance Program in both NYC and Los Angeles and graduated with her BFA. Olivia has since worked in all facets of the industry, including TV/film, appearing on SNL with Miley Cyrus, “So You Think You Can Dance,” Apple TV’s “Lady in the Lake,” Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Disney’s Better Nate than Ever, Nickelodeon’s Emmy-nominated Blue’s Big City Adventure, and more. Olivia has performed in live industrials for Apple, Hyundai Genesis, and New York Fashion Week for Breitling. Olivia’s favorite credits include her time on the live stage. She was cast in two Broadway first national tours: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory as Ensemble/Veruca Salt and as Kaylee in the original cast of The Prom. Recently, Olivia made her Broadway debut as a swing in Moulin Rouge! The Musical and is beyond thrilled to be making her original Broadway cast/onstage debut in The Heart of Rock and Roll this spring!


The Heart of Rock and RollTaylor Marie Daniel - Ensemble

Taylor Marie Daniel (Ensemble/Roz, Cassandra Cover) is beyond excited to be making her Broadway debut in The Heart of Rock and Roll. Taylor Marie is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan’s Musical Theatre Program (’22). Her credits include Bulda in Frozen (National Tour), Betty in Pal Joey at New York City Center, Deena Jones in Dreamgirls at The Paramount Theater in Chicago, Chiffon in Little Shop Of Horrors, Legally Blonde (Ens, Pilar u/s) and Mary Poppins at The Muny. Taylor Marie dedicates every performance to her father, Thomas Daniel. She would also like to thank her friends and family for their endless love and support. Exist Loudly!


The Heart of Rock and RollLindsay Joan - Ensemble

Lindsay Joan is thrilled to be making her Broadway debut alongside such a gifted cast and team of artists! Off-Broadway & Nat’l Tour: Kinky Boots (u/s Lauren, Nicola), NBC’s “The Voice” Season 20 (Team Nick Jonas). Special thanks to my incredible family: Mama, Preston, Yaeli, Russell, Hales, and Llani for all of your love and support. Shoutout to Daniel Hoff Agency!


The Heart of Rock and RollRoss Lekites - Ensemble

Broadway: Parade, The Music Man, Tina (OBC), Frozen (OBC), Kinky Boots, NY City Center: Brigadoon (Charlie Dalrymple). Tours: West Side Story (Tony), Kinky Boots. Film/TV: Frozen 2, “Schmigadoon,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Time After Time.” For my wife, Mandy, and my boys, Leo and Rowan!


The Heart of Rock and RollRobin Masella - Ensemble

Broadway: Shucked, Bad Cinderella (OBC), Frozen, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (OBC), Cats. Off-Broadway: Evita (City Center), High Button Shoes (City Center), I Married an Angel (City Center), Trip of Love (Stage 42), West Side Story (Carnegie Hall), Candide (Lincoln Center), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Concert), Chess (Concert) National Tours: Frozen (1st National), Evita (1st National), Chicago. Regional: The Muny, Sacramento Music Circus, Goodspeed Opera House, TUTS. Robin is the Associate Choreographer for the Broadway musical Shucked, the Broadway-bound musical The Wanderer, and the 75th Tony Awards. Robin has also choreographed for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, working with JLo, Meghan Thee Stallion, Janet Jackson and more. Robin has performed on the Tony Awards, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. @robinmasella.


The Heart of Rock and RollJoe Moeller - Performer

Joe Moeller (he/him) Broadway: & Juliet. Tours/Las Vegas: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia! Joe would like to dedicate this show to his grandparents, Ralph and Connie, who gifted him his first voice lessons 20 years ago. This wouldn’t be possible without support from family, friends, teachers, DGRW, and the greatest husband ever, Aaron. CCM 2011.


The Heart of Rock and RollJennifer Noble - Performer

Broadway credits: King Kong (understudy Ann Darrow); Ghost: The Musical (understudy Molly). National tours: We Will Rock You (understudy Scaramouche); Kinky Boots (understudy Nicola). Regional credits: Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation and Bliss at Seattle’s 5th Avenue; Milwaukee Rep, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Playhouse Square, and La Jolla Playhouse. TV/Film: “White House Plumbers,” “Law & Order” (actually not yet, but manifesting), and the upcoming documentary At This Performance. If Jennifer looks familiar, you may have seen her on the marquee of Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre down the street. @thejennoble. So much love to DFG, Dad, and Zach. For MSHN. Thank you to Tara Rubin Casting and Marc and Dustin at DHA. Verify your voter registration at FeelGoodAction.org.


The Heart of Rock and RollFrederic Rodriguez Odgaard - Performer

Broadway: Moulin Rouge! The Musical (OBC/Boston: Assistant Dance Captain/Ensemble, National Tour: Swing/u/s Santiago), Kinky Boots (Angel), Finding Neverland (Swing), Off-Broadway: Pageant (Principal standby), National/International/Regional: Cabaret (Ensemble, u/s Cliff, u/s Ernst), We Will Rock You (Madonna/u/s Khashoggi), West Side Story (Snowboy), Las Vegas: Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis, Cher, and Celine Dion’s A New Day… at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. TV/Film: Hallmark’s Taking the Reins (Matthew), “Fosse/Verdon” (FX), Rent: Live (Fox), “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” (Hulu), among many others on ABC, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and The CW. So many thanks to the people who have always believed in me, my managers at IAE, my agent at UTA, my beautiful husband, and my littlest Pimm.


The Heart of Rock and RollMichael Olaribigbe - Ensemble

Michael Olaribigbe is so excited to make his Broadway debut! Some of his credits include: Roy Brown in ELVIS: A Musical Revolution, Purlie in A Christmas Carol (North Shore Music Theatre), Tiger in West Side Story (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Angel in Kinky Boots (The Muny), Ensemble in the world premiere of The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation (5th Avenue Theatre); Film/TV: A Jazzman’s Blues (Tyler Perry & Debbie Allen). Michael thanks his friends and family for all the love and support throughout his career. He also thanks his rep, MTA.


The Heart of Rock and RollKevin Pariseau - Ensemble

Kevin Pariseau appeared most recently as Mushnik in Michael Mayer’s long-running Off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors. Notable productions include the original Broadway casts of Legally Blonde the Musical (ACCA Award) and Ink, Bart Sher’s national tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony Award-winning My Fair Lady as Col. Pickering, the Kennedy Center production of Sunset Blvd. (Sheldrake), the NY Philharmonic presentation of Show Boat (Jim), and the Encores! production of Grand Hotel (Witt) directed by Josh Rhodes. On television, he has appeared in “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Blacklist,” “Evil,” and two seasons of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” His film credits include Tower Heist (d. Brett Ratner) and Morning Glory (d. the late Roger Michell). Kevin Pariseau’s audiobook narrations have garnered many notable honors, including his 2012 Audie nomination in Fiction for Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War, his 2014 SOVA nomination for Outstanding Science Fiction Narration for Dan Simmons’ Ilium, and his AudioFile Earphones Award for the 2010 winner in the Best of Science Fiction category, William Gibson’s Burning Chrome.


The Heart of Rock and RollRobert Pendilla - Ensemble

Broadway credits include: original cast of A Beautiful Noise (Swing, Co-Dance Captain, u/s Fred Weintraub, u/s Tommy O’Rourke, u/s Bert Berns, u/s Kieve Diamond), original cast of Kinky Boots (Swing, u/s Richard Bailey), Miss Saigon Revival (Ensemble, u/s Asst. Commissar), Wicked (Ensemble, u/s Boq). National Tour credits: Wicked (Swing, u/s Boq), Mamma Mia! (Pepper), Miss Saigon Revival (Ensemble). Regional credits: Swept Away (Swing), Kinky Boots (Referee Angel), The Heart of Rock and Roll (Ensemble, u/s Fjord, u/s Eli), Flower Drum Song (Ensemble), Aida (Ensemble), Mame (Ensemble), My Fair Lady (Ensemble). Television/Film: “FBI: Most Wanted”, “Blue Bloods”, Chat À Table. Big thank you goes to his husband, Brian, and family, Nati, Mauro and Mario for all of their love and support, and to the entire Whole Artist Management team for making this all happen. Follow Robert on all socials: @RobertPendilla & RobertPendilla.com.


The Heart of Rock and RollLeah Read - Performer

Leah Read is thrilled to make her Broadway debut in The Heart of Rock & Roll! Leah’s favorite credits include the Off-Broadway and Las Vegas companies of Rock of Ages, The Cher Show (Ogunquit), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and dancing backup for Wyclef Jean. Leah is an Oklahoma native and a Pace Commercial Dance graduate! Yeehaw!! Special thanks to her parents and the Wolpes for their endless love and support. @r2_lee2


The Heart of Rock and RollJohn Dossett - Stone

John Dossett has been a professional actor in NYC since 1979. He has appeared in 20 Broadway productions, among them Wicked, War Paint, Newsies, Pippin, The Constant Wife, Gypsy (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Dinner At Eight, Ragtime, Democracy, Prelude to a Kiss, Fifth of July. Off-Broadway: Parade (City Center), The Heart of Rock & Roll (Old Globe), Dear Evan Hansen (Second Stage), Giant (Public Theater, Drama Desk nomination), Saved (Playwrights Horizons), The Clean House and Hello Again (LCT), Dinner with Friends, A Number (People’s Light), A Small Fire (Philadelphia Theater Company). As a Company Member of Circle Rep: Reckless, The Diviners, Childe Byron, Dalton’s Back, Sunshine, El Salvador, others. TV/film: “Madam Secretary,” “Blue Bloods,” “Elementary,” “Law & Order(s),” “Sex and the City,” and HBO’s “John Adams.”


The Heart of Rock and RollAutumn Guzzardi - Ensemble

Autumn has been a performer her entire life. If you recognize her, it might have been from ROCK OF AGES at New World Stages, or even Broadway’s 9to5. You may have seen her on TV, where she guested on Bluebloods, Bull, and even Law & Order SVU. Or it’s possible you’ve purchased her custom-designed tea towels at www.fitforthekings.com – did we mention she is married to Broadway carpenter T.J. King? Not only do they make a dynamite home reno team, but they are parents to sweet baby James. Thanks and love to the fam, TFT, Hybrid. @autumnguzzardi




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