'Idol' vet on tap for upcoming revival
“American Idol” alum Bo Bice has landed his first Broadway gig: He’ll appear in the six-person cast of actor-musicians in the upcoming revival of 1982 tuner “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” which begins previews March 19 ahead of an April 8 opening at Circle in the Square.
Alexander Gemignani (“Sweeney Todd”). Erik Hayden (“Million Dollar Quartet”), Jane Pfitsch (“Company”), Leenya Rideout (“War Horse”) and Justin Hosek, a member of the band Ranchhands, will star with Bice in the production. Show centers on the music made by a quartet of men who work at a North Carolina gas station and the two women who are waitresses at a nearby diner.
John Doyle, the helmer who made his mark on the Rialto with other productions that feature thesps doubling as musicians (“Sweeney Todd,” “Company”), directs the show, which will have new arrangements and orchestrations by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, another “Company” alum.
Casting “Idol” veterans, many of whom have established a fanbase through their stints on the Fox reality competish, has turned ticket buyers’ heads in the past but doesn’t guarantee a major uptick in sales. Fantasia Barino’s stint in “The Color Purple” prompted a spike in sales that resuscitated a flagging show, and Clay Aiken’s gig in “Spamalot” bolstered the numbers, though not quite as much. Constantine Maroulis, the “Rock of Ages” star soon to be on the Rialto in “Jekyll and Hyde,” and Diana DeGarmo (“Hairspray”), meanwhile, have had less identifiable effects on sales (although Maroulis in particular has carved out a profile for himself among legiters).
Bice was the runner-up to winner Carrie Underwood in the fourth season of “Idol” in 2005.
Abby Lee, David B. Brode, Lee Seymour, Alex Seymour and Suzanne and Michael H. Moskow produce “Pump Boys” with exec producer Tom Viertel.