It’s good to be a Grande this fall.
Frankie Grande, the break-out contestant from this past summer’s edition of CBS’s “Big Brother” and the brother of pop star Ariana Grande, is heading back to his roots on the Great White Way, joining the cast of the hit Broadway musical “Rock of Ages” for a two-month run this winter.
Frankie will join the cast in the role of “Franz,” the free-spirited son of German developer Hertz Klineman, who threatens to tear down the Sunset Strip. He’ll appear from Nov. 10 through Jan. 18, 2015, producers announced Tuesday.
“Ever since my first role on Broadway, I have dreamed of playing Franz. I couldn’t be more excited to finally get this opportunity, especially alongside this incredible cast,” Grande said.
“I’ve actually had three final callbacks since the show originally opened. Every time I made it down to the final two people, they went with the other guy,” he explained to People. “The first time I wasn’t blonde. The second time I was too blonde. The third time I was too short. That is how Broadway works. They have a surplus of actors, so they can be that picky.”
It’s not Frankie’s first time on Broadway. The actor, dancer, singer, producer and YouTube personality began his professional career on stage in 2007 in the long-running hit “Mamma Mia!” Additionally, he appeared in the 2014 off-Broadway production of “Pageant.”
Grande’s Broadway producing credits include “Hamlet” starring Jude Law, “La Bête” starring David Hyde Pierce and “Born Yesterday” starring Jim Belushi.
“We’re so thrilled to have Frankie join the cast,” producer Scott Prisand told TheWrap exclusively. “On top of being a great actor and performer, he has such an admirable youthful energy and presence – both qualities which are so essential to the role of Franz. It seemed like such a perfect fit, and we can’t wait to see him knock it out of the park.
Having Frankie and (additional newcomer) Chester (See) come on board is something we’ve been envisioning for quite some time, as we’ve witnessed the exponential rise in the influence of social media stars within the entertainment industry. Hollywood has already begun to embrace this new wave of talent within the online community, and we’re thrilled to be the first to lead the charge on Broadway, hopefully bringing a new generation of audiences to ‘Rock of Ages.’“
Producers also announced that former “American Idol” star Constantine Maroulis will extend his return engagement as “Drew” through Jan. 18, 2015. Lauren Zakrin also will join the company, making her Broadway debut in the lead role of “Sherrie” beginning Nov. 3.
As previously announced, award-winning YouTube sensation Chester See joins the cast as “Stacee Jaxx” beginning Oct. 27.
“Rock of Ages” opened on Broadway in April 7, 2009 and played its final performance at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Jan. 9, 2011 before transferring to The Helen Hayes Theatre on March 24, 2011. Now in its sixth year, the show has grossed over $123 million and broken the box office record at the Helen Hayes Theatre 10 times.
The show also has a successful production at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, and tours the open seas on Norwegian’s newest cruise ship The Breakaway. It also is currently engaged in its third U.S. National Tour and first U.K. National Tour.
In 2012, “Rock of Ages” hit the big screen in a film version directed by Adam Shankman and starting Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Mary J. Blige, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Catherine Zeta-Jones.