Bo Bice, the singer best known for his appearances on AMERICAN IDOL, is set to make his Broadway debut in PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, reports The New York Times today.
Bice, the second place finisher in the singing competition's fourth season behind Carrie Underwood (who's set to transition to a musical herself), will be joined by stage veterans Alexander Gemignani, Erik Hayden, Justin Hosek, Jane Pfitsch and Leenya Rideout. Performances are slated to begin March 19 at Circle in the Square Theater with an official opening night of April 8.
This new production of Pump Boys and Dinettes, John Doyle's visionary tribute to life by the roadside, takes place on Highway 57. Somewhere in America's heartland, between Frog Level and Smyrna, North Carolina, stands a rest stop, for those who need a good rest. The four hard-working fellas at the gas station, Jim, Jackson, Eddie and L.M., have been known to do some auto repairs, but only when aided by ample quantities of time, great tunes and a few beers while they're at it.
Just a few feet away, there's also a roadside eatery, the Double Cupp Diner, where the Cupp sisters, Prudie and Rhetta, celebrate their famous home cooking and gift for song with the same zeal they bring to their kinship with the boys. With joy, heartbreak and hilarity, these Pump Boys and Dinettes also play a stunning variety of musical instruments including guitar, piano, bass, fiddle, banjo, ukulele, harmonica...and yes, even kitchen utensils.
An exuberant mixture of heartland-pop concert and musical theatre, Pump Boys and Dinettes premiered at the Chelsea West Side Arts Theatre on July 10, 1981, transferring to the Colonnades Theatre in October of that year. The production became a sensation, immediately plugging into the zeitgeist and galvanizing audiences with soul-grabbing hits like "Be Good or Be Gone," "Pump Boys" and "Vacation." The success of the Off-Broadway production led Pump Boys and Dinettes to open on Broadway at the Princess Theatre on February 4, 1982, where it went on to play 573 performances and was nominated for both Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical.
Set design for Pump Boys and Dinettes is by Tony Award-winner David Gallo (Memphis, Radio Golf), costume design is by Tony Award-winner Ann Hould-Ward (A Catered Affair, Beauty and the Beast), lighting design is by Mike Baldassari (Cabaret, As Long as We Both Shall Laugh) and sound design is by Dan Moses Schreier (Cyrano de Bergerac, A Little Night Music). Mary-Mitchell Campbell also serves as musical supervisor.