Casey Cott, Christian Borle, and Mandy Gonzalez to Star in Kennedy Center's TOMMY
Posted by: Mike 05:34 pm EST 03/06/19




in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Broadway Center Stage Production of


Also Starring

Manu Narayan as Uncle Ernie

Kimberly Nichole as The Gypsy

Wesley Taylor as Cousin Kevin

Directed and Choreographed by Josh Rhodes

April 24–29, 2019 in the Eisenhower Theater

(WASHINGTON)—The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces Casey Cott, star of the hit CW series Riverdale, will play the title role in the Broadway Center Stage production of The Who’s Tommy. Tony Award® winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, Something Rotten!) and Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton, In the Heights) will co-star as Captain Walker and Mrs. Walker, respectively. The cast will also feature Manu Narayan (Merrily We Roll Along, My Fair Lady) as Uncle Ernie; Kimberly Nichole, a fan favorite on season eight of NBC’s The Voice, as The Gypsy (“Acid Queen”); and Wesley Taylor (SpongeBob SquarePants, The Addams Family) as Cousin Kevin. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

Directing and choreographing this semi-staged concert production is Josh Rhodes (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Bright Star), who recently wowed audiences with his direction and choreography of the City Center Encores! production of Grand Hotel.

“2019 is the 50th anniversary of the release of the groundbreaking original album of Tommy. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this iconic show than by bringing such an incredibly talented cast and creative team together for a Broadway Center Stage event at the Kennedy Center,” said Jeffrey Finn, Vice President of Theater Producing and Programming.

Based on the iconic 1969 rock concept album, The Who’s Tommy is an exhilarating story of hope, healing, and the human spirit. With music and lyrics by Pete Townshend, book by Des McAnuff and Pete Townshend, and additional music and lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon, this five-time Tony Award®–winning, one-of-a-kind musical tells the story of the pinball-playing, “deaf, dumb, and blind” boy who triumphs over adversities.

The Who’s Tommy will be musical directed by Lynne Shankel (Allegiance, Company) with set and projection design by Paul dePoo (Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Broadway Center Stage: The Music Man), lighting design by Jake DeGroot (Oh, Hello on Broadway), costume design by Andrea Hood (The Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park’s Twelfth Night), and sound design by Tony Award® winner Kai Harada (The Band’s Visit; Broadway Center Stage: Chess, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Music Man).

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

The Who’s Tommy, the final Broadway Center Stage production of the 2018–2019 season, comes on the heels of this season’s rapturously received, standing-room-only Kennedy Center productions of Little Shop of Horrors and The Music Man. The inaugural 2017–2018 season included sell-out performances of star-studded productions of Chess, In the Heights, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The 2019–2020 season of Broadway Center Stage will be announced soon.

Ticket Information

Broadway Center Stage: The Who’s Tommy will be performed Wednesday, April 24–Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 8 p.m. and Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28. 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.


Casey Cott (Tommy) can currently be seen as Kevin Keller in season three of the CW smash hit series Riverdale from executive producer Greg Berlanti. On the big screen, Cott will be seen in the upcoming independent film All the Little Things We Kill opposite Beth Marvel and Danielle Brooks. Other television work includes guest starring roles on the CBS series Instinct with Alan Cumming and Law & Order: SVU. Casey originated the role of Moses in the DreamWorks Theatrical stage workshop of The Prince of Egypt under the direction of Scott Schwartz.

Christian Borle (Captain Walker). Two-time Tony Award® winner Christian Borle has starred in myriad roles both on stage and screen. He won the Tony® for Best Featured Actor in a Musical as Shakespeare in Something Rotten! and Best Featured Actor in a Play as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher. Additional Broadway credits include: Footloose, Jesus Christ Superstar, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Amour, Spamalot (Drama Desk nom.), Mary Poppins, Legally Blonde (Tony® and Drama Desk noms.), Falsettos (Tony® nom.), and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. On screen, Borle appeared in Michael Mann’s Blackhat opposite Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis, as well as The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler. For TV, Borle has starred in Masters of Sex and the comedy pilot Lifesaver. He played a recurring role on The Good Wife, received across-the-board praise for his portrayal of Tom on Smash, and was seen by more than 22 million viewers as Max on NBC’s Sound of Music Live. Most recently, Borle made his directorial debut with the Off-Broadway production of Popcorn Falls, which opened at The Davenport Theatre in fall 2018.

Mandy Gonzalez (Mrs. Walker) has thrilled audiences on Broadway, lit up the screen on television, and started a social movement. Gonzalez currently stars as Angelica Schuyler in the musical sensation Hamilton and as Lucy Knox on the CBS hit Madam Secretary. Her vocal prowess sets a new standard—one moment she can be soft and sultry, the next moment she can shake the rafters. She is a Warner East West Records artist and recently released her debut album, FEARLESS. Gonzalez is also known for originating the role of Nina Rosario in the Tony Award®–winning In the Heights. Previously, she also starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked—blowing the roof off of New York’s Gershwin Theatre every night. Gonzalez has performed in concert halls around world, most recently as lead vocalist for the Philly Pops. She is also an author—she recently published a widely cited article in the Harvard Business Review on how to overcome one’s fear of public speaking. Gonzalez is the proud founder of #FearlessSquad—a social media movement for inclusiveness and belonging. The movement connects millions of people around the world, encourages them to be their best selves, and helps them empower each other.

Manu Narayan (Uncle Ernie) is an actor most known for portraying the leading role of Aakash (Drama League nom.) in the original Broadway company of AR Rahman’s Bombay Dreams. He most recently played the role of Charley in Roundabout's Merrily We Roll Along. On Broadway this past year, he originated the role of Zoltan Karpathy in Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony®–nominated revival of My Fair Lady and created the role of Robbie in the original musical Gettin’ the Band Back Together at the Belasco Theater. Off-Broadway, Narayan has appeared at the Public Theater (Fucking A), Second Stage (Getting Home and suburbia), La Mama (Yeast Nation), and New World Stages (Sidd). Regionally, he was Ricky Roma (SD Critics’ nom.) in Glengarry Glen Ross and Huma in Guards at the Taj at La Jolla Playhouse. He portrayed Mike in the Kennedy Center’s revival of The Lisbon Traviata. Other credits include the Stage Manager in Our Town, Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Cyrano in Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, and Jack Absolute in The Rivals. On film, Narayan co-starred with Mike Myers in The Love Guru. He has played supporting roles in Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song and 99 Homes.

Kimberly Nichole (The Gypsy). Described by Rolling Stone as “a superhero hybrid of Aretha Franklin’s vocals with Bono’s stage presence,” Nichole exploded on the national scene on season 8 of NBC’s The Voice. Born and raised in Seattle, WA, she moved to New York City where she launched her career. She’s shared the stage with Slash (Guns N’ Roses), Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson), Janelle Monae, Joe Walsh (The Eagles), and Jon Bon Jovi. Last year, she made her Broadway debut in Rocktopia, where the New York Times praised her performance. Now residing in London, Nichole still performs throughout the U.S. with her band, while hosting The Box in London and preparing to release her project, The West Coast Seattle Girl.

Wesley Taylor (Cousin Kevin). Original Broadway cast of SpongeBob SquarePants (Plankton); original Broadway cast of The Addams Family (Lucas); original Broadway cast of Rock of Ages (Franz), for which he won the Theatre World Award and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award; MCC: Alice By Heart (Mad Hatter); Denver Center: An Act of God (God); Signature Theatre: Cabaret (Emcee); Second Stage: Little Miss Sunshine (Joshua); American Conservatory Theatre: Tales of the City (Michael). TV: Smash (26 episodes), The Good Wife, The Tomorrow People, One Life to Live, Looking, I'm Dying up Here, Difficult People. Taylor is the Co-Creator/Writer/Star of Indoor Boys (HuffPost/Vimeo), It Could Be Worse (Hulu/Pivot TV/Vimeo), Billy Green (YouTube). BFA: North Carolina School of the Arts.

Josh Rhodes (Director and Choreographer). Rhodes directed Grand Hotel (Encores!), Evita (Asolo Rep), Jersey Boys (Muny), Guys and Dolls (Asolo Rep and Old Globe Theatre), Spamalot (5th Avenue Theatre), Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville (Old Globe Theatre), Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Playhouse Christmas Show (Bucks County Playhouse), and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees in Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. On Broadway, he choreographed the productions of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, It Shoulda Been You, First Date, and Bright Star. On London’s West End, he choreographed Carousel at the English National Opera and Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson. Other credits include Company starring Neil Patrick Harris (PBS), Sondheim: The Birthday Concert (PBS), Broadway: Three Generations (Kennedy Center), and Elf and 1776 (Paper Mill Playhouse). Rhodes is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan.

Funding Credits

Theater at the Kennedy Center is made possible by Adrienne Arsht.

Major support for Musical Theater at the Kennedy Center is provided by

the Drutz Family Fund for Musical Theater.

The Kennedy Center Theater Season is sponsored by Altria Group.

Additional support is provided by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.

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