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Big Brother's Frankie J. Grande, Half-Brother of Ariana Grande, Returning to Broadway in 'Rock of Ages'

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Oct 22, 2014 05:09 PM EDT

Frankie J. Grande, recently of TV's Big Brother and an ensemble member and understudy in Broadway's Mamma Mia!, and half-brother of pop singer Ariana Grande, is stepping into the role of "Franz" in the long-running Broadway jukebox musical Rock of Ages. The limited engagement will run from November 10, 2014 through January 18, 2015.

Grande has produced Broadway shows as well: the Donmar Warehouse production of Hamlet starring Jude Law, La Bête with Mark Rylance, Joanna Lumley and David Hyde Pierce, and most recently Born Yesterday with Jim Belushi and Robert Sean Leonard. But "Franz," Rock of Ages' German developer aiming to introduce "clean living" to the Sunset Strip, will be his first featured role on the Great White Way.

Wesley Taylor played the role in the original Broadway cast, and Tom Lenk of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been "Franz" in several productions.

Frankie J. Grande has appeared regionally in A Chorus Line, Pippin and Jawbreaker: The Musical. Right out of college, he played "Boots the Monkey" in the national tour of Dora the Explorer Live: Dora's Pirate Adventure.

In further Rock of Ages news, Constantine Maroulis, a Tony nominee as "Drew" in 2009 who returned to the role this summer, will extend his engagement, also through January 18, 2015. Meanwhile, beginning November 3, Lauren Zakrin, who reached the final round on MTV's reality show Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods, will make her Broadway debut in this very different show when she takes over the lead role of "Sherrie" from Carrie St. Louis.

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TagsFrankie J. Grande, Ariana Grande, Frankie Grande, Rock of Ages, Mamma Mia!, broadway, Broadway Musical, Musical, musical theater, jukebox musical, Constantine Maroulis, Lauren Zakrin

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