Photo Flash: ROCK AND ROLL MAN Celebrates Opening Night
A bevy of New York talent and Broadway producers mingled with guests in New Hope, PA, during the cast party held at Hotel du Village following the opening night performance of "Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story", a Caiola Production, making its world premiere at Bucks County Playhouse through October 1, 2017. BroadwayWorld has photos from the opening festivities below!
The high energy musical drama stars Tony-nominee Alan Campbell ("Sunset Blvd.") as Alan Freed and multiple-Emmy nominee George Wendt (Norm from "Cheers") as J. Edgar Hoover. The talented cast of the show also includes: Bob Ari, William Louis Bailey, Whitney Bashor, Richard Crandle, John Dewey, Brian Mathis, Matthew Sean Morgan, Heather Parcells, Soara-Joye Ross, Melissa van Der Schyff, Michael Siktberg and James Scheider. The Quartet is performed by Early Clover, A.J. Davis, Jerome Jackson and Dr. Eric B. Turner.
On hand to watch the performance were two of Alan Freed's children, music publisher Lance Freed (who came from Los Angeles) and his sister, Dr. Sieglinde Freed (from Denver). After meeting Alan's children, Alan Campbell, who played their father and the show's title character said he would forever treasure the experience. The cast was equally fascinated to hear their personal memories of their dad.
Lance was the son of Alan and his first wife, Betty Lou and was 17 when his father died on January 20, 1965. He spent the last two years of Alan's life living with him and his third wife, Inga, in Palm Springs. Sieglinde (Siegie) was the daughter of Alan and Jackie, who also spent time with her dad at that time.
Lance shared more about his dad, "I remember Cleveland and what he was doing there. When my parents got a divorce and my mom moved to Miami, I lived with her and only spent summers with my dad and sister Alana in Cleveland and New York. I wanted to have more of a relationship with my dad but he was really busy. Then sometimes when I spent time with him alone so many people came to visit, even on Sundays. It was a day we'd play a little softball and catch and then people would come. My relationship was with him and his music and his job."
In the final years of Alan Freed's life, Lance got his wish - moving to California to be with his father and experience his extraordinary legacy first hand.
"The summer of 1963, I moved to Palm Springs and my mom was very supportive of it," says Freed. "The last two years of his life we spent almost every day together except when I went to school. My dad drank too much, but I never saw him drunk. He was a softy, never mean-spirited.
"He had an automobile accident in Cleveland in 1953. He had a ruptured spleen, his liver was heavily damaged in that accident. He was told to live healthy and, of course, he did not. He told me in Palm Springs, 'I've been on borrowed time since 1953. I was not supposed to survive that accident - anything I do here is an adventure.' He was fearless."
"Rock and Roll Man" covers Alan's rise to fame in the 1950s and 1960s. The musical includes a book by Gary Kupper, Larry Marshak and Rose Caiola. Original music and lyrics are by Gary Kupper. Tony Award Nominee Randal Myler will direct with choreography by Brian Reeder. Music supervision and arrangements are by Dave Keyes and Gary Kupper. Dave Keyes is also the production's Musical Director. Tim Mackabee is Scenic Designer and Jen Caprio is Costume Designer. Rui Rita is Lighting Designer, Rafe Carolotto is Sound Designer, with Christopher Ash as Projections Designer, and J. Jared Janas as Wig and Hair Designer. "Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story" is a Caiola Production.
"Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story" uncovers the true story of Alan Freed - the Father of Rock and Roll. It's the 1950s and a cocky young DJ discovers the music that all America wants to hear - except no radio station will play it. Pursued by the notorious J. Edgar Hoover for promoting this unwholesome genre, Alan perseveres - unearthing the sound of a new generation through pure guts, grit, and determination. Featuring original songs and Rock and Roll hits of the 1950s, by legends like Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis, audiences will be rocking around the clock to such songs as "Sh-Boom," "Good Golly Miss Molly," "Ain't that a Shame," "Rock and Roll is Here to Stay," "Great Balls of Fire," "Peggy Sue" and more!
This is the third world premiere production scheduled for Bucks County Playhouse this year. The summer season launched in May with the debut of "Clue: On Stage." The Playhouse's traditional subscription season also includes "The New World," a world premiere musical comedy by the producers and co-creators of "Altar Boyz."
Tickets to "Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story" range from $40 - $75. Special rates for groups of 10 or more. For complete details, and to purchase tickets, please visit buckscountyplayhouse.org, call 215-862-2121, or visit the box office at 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA.
Photo Credit: Margaryta Kenis
Producer Rose Caiola and cast of Rock and Roll Man
Rose and Luigi Caiola with Sasha Mermelstein, who plays young Alan Freed
Rose and Luigi Caiola, Caiola Productions