Bo Bice to Join 'Pump Boys' on Broadway

Bo Bice
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The show's pioneering rocker brought monster classic-rock riffs to the Idol stage (long before contestants were allowed to play instruments) and, in no time, went from being a straggly, bell-bottomed hopeful to performing with some of his own idols. Singing "Sweet Home Alabama" at the season four finale with Lynyrd Skynyrd as his backing band was a high point for the Helena, Alabama, native, but for his fans, the seminal Southern rallying cry was just the last in a string of stellar performances that not only got Bo to second place, but also forever endeared him to the hearts of rock-loving Idol worshipers.

The "American Idol" season four runner-up will star in the spring revival of the heartland rock musical, directed by Tony winner John Doyle.

NEW YORK -- Recording star and American Idol alumnus Bo Bice will make his Broadway debut in the upcoming revival of Pump Boys and Dinettes, the 1981 musical about four gas station attendants and two waitresses at a North Carolina roadside diner and truckstop.

Bice joins Alexander Gemignani, Erik Hayden, Justin Hosek, Jane Pfitsch and Leenya Rideout in the production, which mixes country, rock and pop styles to depict the people of the American heartland. The show begins previews March 19 for an April 8 opening at the Circle in the Square Theatre.

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Directing the revival is John Doyle, who won a Tony Award in 2006 for his staging of Sweeney Todd. That production, like another Stephen Sondheim musical directed by Doyle, Company, featured a cast that doubled as the orchestra. Following in that tradition, the cast of Pump Boys also will serve as musicians, playing guitar, piano, bass, fiddle, accordion, harmonica and kitchen utensils.

The show was conceived, written and originally performed by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann. That production transferred to Broadway following its Off Broadway bow, playing for 573 performances and receiving a Tony nomination for best musical. Mary-Mitchell Campbell, who worked with Doyle on Company, will provide new arrangements and orchestrations for the revival.

A breakout star of the fourth season of American Idol, Bice placed second to Carrie Underwood and has since released three studio albums.