Christy Altomare, Joey McIntyre and Michael Wartella to star in Broadway-Bound THE WANDERER at Paper Mill Playhouse in March 2022
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:32 am EDT 05/19/21


To Star In


World Premiere Production at
Paper Mill Playhouse
March 24 - April 24, 2022
Prior to Broadway

The producers of The Wanderer, the new Broadway-bound musical based on the life and music of Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer Dion DiMucci, are pleased to announce that Michael Wartella (Wicked) will star as Dion alongside Christy Altomare (Anastasia) as Dion's wife Susan and Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block; Waitress) as Dion's right hand man, Johnny, in its world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.

Further casting to be announced at a later date.

The show will begin performances at Paper Mill Playhouse on March 24, 2022 and play through April 24, 2022.

"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&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!"

During the pandemic Dion released a #1 album, "Blues with Friends" with Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Jeff Beck, and others, and he is currently recording another album.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.

The Wanderer is written by Charles Messina (A Room of My Own) and directed by Kenneth Ferrone (Cruel Intentions National Tour, "Rent on Fox") and choreographed by Sarah O'Gleby. Tony Award-winner Beowulf Boritt is the scenic designer. The Wanderer is produced by Paper Mill Playhouse in association with Jill Menza and Charles Messina.

Dion. One name set the standard of cool for a generation. But how does a kid from The Bronx make it to the Rock & 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, and R&B 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 & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. 


CHRISTY ALTOMARE (Susan) originated the role of Anya in the Broadway production of Anastasia for which she received the Theatre World Award and was nominated for an Outer Critics Award and a Drama Desk Award for lead actress in a musical. She made her Broadway debut playing the role of Sophie Sheridan in Mamma Mia!. Off- Broadway, Christy portrayed the role of Sue Snell in MCC's revival of Carrie the Musical. Christy can be heard in the cast recordings of both Anastasia and Carrie. She toured the country in the first national tour of Spring Awakening, playing role of Wendla Bergman. Regional credits include Jerusha Abbott in John Caird and Paul Gordon's production of Daddy Long Legs, Guinevere in Camelot at Drury Lane in Chicago, and most recently, Nellie Forbush in South Pacific at the Aspen Music festival. Christy is a graduate of the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Along with her passion for musical theater, she is a songwriter/ recording artist, who currently released her new album of original music called Wandering Bird. You can follow Christy's day to day life @ChristyAltomare on Twitter and Instagram / @ChristyAltomare0 on TikTok.

JOEY McINTYRE (Johnny) grew up four blocks away from the oldest community theatre in America, The Footlight Club in Boston, MA, where at eight years old he made his debut as Winthrop in The Music Man. When he was 12, his community theatre career was held up by an audition for New Kids on the Block – the original Boy Band. A very long story short, the band went on to sell over 80 million records worldwide and continue to sell out arenas today. Joey has enjoyed success as a solo recording artist, including the Top Ten hit "Stay the Same" on Columbia Records. As an actor, Joey has been seen on TV and film including Matt in the film version of "The Fantasticks", David E. Kelly's "Boston Public", "The McCarthys" on CBS, and Paul Fieg's "The Heat" with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Through it all, his heart has always led him back to the theatre, where his credits include many regional productions as well as Wicked on Broadway alongside Idina Menzel as Fiyero, Off-Broadway in Tick, Tick, Boom and most recently on Broadway in Waitress the Musical. 

MICHAEL WARTELLA (Dion). Broadway and National Tour credits include: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tuck Everlasting, Wicked, The Wanderer (Pre-Broadway workshop). Off-Broadway: RENT (New World Stages), The Kid (The New Group), Seussical (Theaterworks/USA), Oliver Twist (TFANA). Regional: Godspell (Berkshire Theatre Group) Chasing Rainbows (Paper Mill Playhouse, Flat Rock Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House), Midsummer, A Prayer for Owen Meany, (Denver Center Theatre Company). Film/TV: "Mysteries of Laura," "Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet", "Loving Leah". He is also a singer-songwriter and his new album "Polarity" can be found on Spotify and iTunes. Twitter/Instagram @mikewartella

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.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is a nationally renowned, not-for-profit theater under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Michael Stotts (Managing Director). A beloved NJ arts institution since 1938, Paper Mill creates and produces groundbreaking new musicals and reimagined classics. Several productions have gone on to Broadway and launched national tours, including Disney's Newsies, Les Misérables, Honeymoon in Vegas, A Bronx Tale, and Bandstand. The theater is also the home of an award-winning center for musical theater education and artist training, with outreach programs that impact thousands of students each year. As one of the nation's premier musical theaters, Paper Mill fosters a creative environment to advance the art form, educate students, develop future theater lovers, nurture inclusion, and provide access for all. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Season tickets to Paper Mill Playhouse's 2021-2022 season are now available at www.papermill.org.
Link http://www.papermill.org

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