THE WANDERER Eyes Broadway Run Following Paper Mill Debut
The Wanderer, a new musical based on the life of Rock n' Roll Hall-of-Famer Dion DiMucci, the multi-platinum selling American music pioneer, will open at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse in the Spring of 2020 prior to a Broadway run.
The Wanderer is written by Charles Messina (A Room of My Own) and directed by Kenneth Ferrone (Cruel Intentions National Tour, "Rent on Fox"). Casting, additional creative team and a Broadway timeline will be announced at a later date.
"We are thrilled and honored that the next step for our show on its way to Broadway will be a production at New Jersey's prestigious Paper Mill Playhouse," said producer Jill Menza.
"If you told me as a young man that one day my journey from The Bronx to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame would become a musical, I would not have believed you," said Dion. "It's only 12 miles from Belmont Avenue to Broadway. It shouldn't have taken this long!"
Dion. One name set the standard of cool for a generation. But how does a kid from The Bronx make it to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame? In The Wanderer, the incredible musical journey of a troubled young man turned teenage heartthrob (and, ultimately, Rock n' Roll icon) is told in intimate and no-holds-barred detail. Dion's music helped define a generation of Rock n' Rollers. His lifelong battle with addiction shed a stark light on the darker side of fame and success. This musical takes both subjects head on, set to the iconic sound of an incomparable era in American music, and celebrates the triumph of the human spirit against all odds. The Wanderer is the riveting true story of Dion, New York's rebel king, the man Bruce Springsteen calls "the link between Frank Sinatra and Rock n' Roll."
Dion is an American singer and songwriting icon whose work has incorporated elements of Doo-Wop, Rock, R&B and Blues throughout his career. Both as lead singer of Dion and the Belmonts and then as a solo artist, he 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," among many more. Dion was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
Charles Messina (Book). Messina's playwriting credits include the Off-Broadway show A Room of My Own, starring Ralph Macchio and Mario Cantone, and Mercury: The Afterlife and Times of a Rock God about the life of Freddie Mercury. Published works: the plays Klepto, Merging, and Fugazy. Other notable stage work: his direction of the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway show Cirque Jacqueline and the long running comedy The Accidental Pervert.
Kenneth Ferrone (Director). Ferrone's credits encompass television, film, Broadway theater, and dance. Most recently, Kenneth directed the National Tour of Cruel Intentions, associate directed SpongeBob SquarePants on Broadway at the Palace Theatre, as well as the show's world premiere at Chicago's Oriental Theatre, and he produced the musical broadcast of "RENT on Fox." Other recent stage directing credits include When Blood Ran Red for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the Off-Broadway premiere of Hi Hitler at the Cherry Lane Theatre, Sistas, now playing its eighth consecutive year Off-Broadway, and The Wanderer, a new musical based on the life of Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame artist, Dion DiMucci. Kenneth collaborated with Jerry Seinfeld and Colin Quinn as the Associate Director of Colin Quinn: The New York Story, which earned rave reviews Off-Broadway, was named a "Critic's Pick" by the New York Times, and was filmed for Netflix. He associate directed the Broadway revival of Love Letters at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, the Broadway premiere of Wonderland at the Marquis Theatre, Head of Passes at the Mark Taper Forum, Deathless at Goodspeed Musicals, In Transit at Primary Stages, Maltby & Shire's Waterfall at Pasadena Playhouse and The 5th Avenue Theatre, and the world premiere musical, Dave at Arena Stage. Other credits include productions at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bay Street Theatre, The Alley Theatre, and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. For television, Kenneth Produced "RENT on Fox" and the Emmy Award winning "Grease Live!" on Fox. He associate produced Seasons 1 and 2 of Steven Spielberg's musical series, "Smash", as well as the drama series, "Rise" on NBC. Additional TV/Film credits include the NBC series, "Deception" and "Ironside." Theresa's Rebeck's feature film, "Poor Behavior." Kenneth is a graduate of Northwestern University and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Producers Guild of America.