Rock n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer Dion DiMucci recently said, “If you told me as a young man that one day my journey from The Bronx to the Rock ’n’ Rock Hall of Fame would become a musical, I would not have believed you. It’s only 12 miles from Belmont Avenue to Broadway. It shouldn’t have taken this long!”
Producer Jill Menza has announced that the musical, “The Wanderer: Based On The Life and Music of Dion” will have its world premiere at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse in a 2020 pre-Broadway engagement.
With a book by playwright Charles Messina, The Wanderer will be directed by Kenneth Ferrone, who also produced Rent on Fox.
Known by just his first name – Dion, set the standard of cool for a generation. The play describes his incredible musical journey as a kid from the Bronx, who as a troubled young man, becomes a teenage heartthrob and ultimately a Rock n’ Roll icon. It is told in no-holds barred detail.
One of the most popular singers of the 1950s and ’60s, Dion scored thirty Top 40 hits and was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Known for his chart topping songs and classics with the Belmonts and as a solo artist, the hits include “Runaround Sue,” “The Wanderer,” “Teenager in Love” and “Abraham, Martin and John.” The music of the play will undoubtedly be uplifting as is Dion’s story itself. Yet the play will not shy away from the musician’s battles with addiction and the darker side of fame and success.
Dion’s music helped define a generation of Rock n’ Rollers and the musical, set to the iconic sound of an incomparable era in American music, 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.” The show’s music defines a generation, while the story defines the man known the world over simply and magnificently as – Dion.
The dates for the previews at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, will announced shortly.