Rosie O'Donnell Joins THE MUSIC MAN at the Kennedy Center

Rosie O'Donnell Joins THE MUSIC MAN at the Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced today that Broadway, film, and television star Rosie O'Donnell will play Mrs. Paroo in the Broadway Center Stage production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man. O'Donnell joins Tony Award® nominee Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess) as Harold Hill and Tony Award®-winning actress Jessie Mueller (Waitress, Carousel, Beautiful) as Marian Paroo in the starry semi-staged concert production directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful, Broadway Center Stage: How to Succeed...) with choreography by Chris Bailey (Jerry Springer: The Opera, The New Yorkers at Encores!) and music direction by James Moore (Miss Saigon, the Kennedy Center's Follies and Ragtime).

Also new to the cast are Tony Award® nominee John Cariani (The Band's Visit, Something Rotten!) as Marcellus Washburn, Tony Award® nominee Veanne Cox (An American in Paris, Company) as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, Tony Award® nominee and Drama Desk winner David Pittu (The Front Page, Is He Dead?) as Charlie Cowell, Damon Gillespie (Aladdin, Newsies) as Tommy Djilas, Eloise Kropp (Cats, Dames at Sea) as Zaneeta Shinn, Sam Middleton (Les Miserables) as Winthrop Paroo, and Emmy Elizabeth Liu-Wang as Amaryllis. The cast of the classic American musical will also include Tessa Grady, Arlo Hill, Todd Horman, Denis Lambert, Liz McCartney, Hayley Podschun, Katerina Papacostas, Blakely Slaybaugh, Jimmy Smagula, Ryan Steele, Daryl Tofa, Diana Vaden, and Nicholas Ward.

Completing the creative team are set and projection designer Paul dePoo, costume designer Amy Clark (A Night With Janis Joplin, Chaplin), lighting designer Cory Pattak (Broadway Center Stage: In the Heights and Little Shop of Horrors), and Tony Award®-winning sound designer Kai Harada (The Band's Visit).

Due to popular demand, an eighth performance has been added on Monday, February 11, 2019 at 7 p.m. Presented as a part of Broadway Center Stage-a Kennedy Center-produced series of musicals in semi-staged concerts, conceived and executive produced by Jeffrey Finn-The Music Man will run February 6-11, 2019 in the Eisenhower Theater.

Winner of five Tony Awards® including Best Musical, this American musical favorite, with music, book, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, follows traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying uniforms for a boys' band that he vows to organize-despite the fact he doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town are foiled when he falls for Marian, the town librarian. The classic score features such standards as "76 Trombones," "'Till There Was You," and "Trouble."

Tickets for all performances are on sale through at the Kennedy Center box office, the website, or by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.

After sell-out performances of an inaugural season that included star-studded Kennedy Center productions of Chess, In the Heights, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, the 2018­-2019 Broadway Center Stage season opened with a rapturously received production of Little Shop of Horrors and will close with the Tony Award®-winning musical The Who's Tommy.

Through the years, Rosie O'Donnell has served as America's best friend and a special inspiration to people of all ages. She was host and executive producer of the critically acclaimed and multiple Emmy Award®-winning nationally syndicated variety talk series The Rosie O'Donnell Show, did two co-host stints on ABC's The View, and hosted the critically acclaimed Sirius/XM show, Rosie Radio.

On the big screen, O'Donnell has starred in A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Another Stakeout, The Flintstones, Exit To Eden, Now and Then, Beautiful Girls, Harriet the Spy, and Wide Awake, to name a few. Her stage credits include the Broadway productions of Grease, Seussical, Fiddler on the Roof, Love, Loss and What I Wore, and the Encores! production of No, No, Nanette. O'Donnell produced the musical Taboo on Broadway and most recently produced the stage show, MotherStruck! at the Lynn Redgrave Theater.

O'Donnell has been featured on several prominent TV series including Will & Grace, Curb Your Enthusiasm, All My Children, Suddenly Susan, Spin City, Sesame Street, Queer as Folk, The Nanny, The Larry Sanders Show, Nip/Tuck, Happily Divorced, and Web Therapy to name a few. In 2009, O'Donnell executive co-produced, co-wrote, and starred in the Lifetime Original film America. O'Donnell recently had a recurring role as foster care mentor Rita Hendricks on ABC Family's The Fosters, and appeared on the hit CBS show Mom. O'Donnell can currently be seen starring in Showtime's hit series SMILF, which returns for a second season this month.

With a strong passion for documentary storytelling and the never-ending search for truth, O'Donnell has partnered with HBO on several projects. She was the co-executive producer of Rosie's Family Cruise, A Family is a Family is a Family: A Rosie O'Donnell Celebration, and Don't Divorce Me. O'Donnell received critical acclaim with her 2015 HBO documentary Rosie O'Donnell: A Heartfelt Stand Up, in which she took a light-hearted approach to sharing personal details of her heart attack and recovery, raising awareness for the rarely discussed, yet massive issue of women's heart health.

O'Donnell has also shared her gift for writing with the release of her books Find Me (2002), Celebrity Detox: (The Fame Game) (2007), and Rosie O'Donnell's Crafty U (2008).

As a tireless crusader for children, O'Donnell established the Rosie's For All Kids Foundation, which has awarded more than $30 million dollars in grants to over 1,500 child-related non-profit organizations to benefit low-income families across the country. Rosie's Theater Kids provides free in-school, after-school, and summer instruction in musical theater to the public school children of New York. O'Donnell achieved an incredible milestone in philanthropy when she was awarded the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Award at the 2014 Tony Awards® for her dedication, commitment, and unconditional generosity towards arts education and New York City's public schools. Rosie's Theater Kids just received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award at the White House, given by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Broadway Center Stage: The Music Man will be performed Wednesday, February 6-Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 8 p.m. with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10. The performance on Monday, February 11 will be performed at 7 p.m. For more information please visit the Kennedy Center website, in-person at the Kennedy Center box office, or call (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.

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