‘Dirty Dancing’ Songwriter Franke Previte to Bring New Show Starring ‘American Idol’ and ‘Voice’ Star–‘Calling All Divas’–to Monmouth University (1071 The Boss DJ Michele Amabile has the Interview)
Academy Award-winning songwriter Franke Previte (Dirty Dancing) is still having the time of his life, and bringing a new show–Calling All Divas–to the Pollak Theatre at Monmouth University on July 11.
The show–which showcases four different women of varying vocal styles and delivery–follows the formation of The “Un4gettable” Divas, portrayed by Broadway performer and Radio City Rockette Lisa Sherman, Philadelphia R&B vocalist Carol Riddick (Jill Scott, Will Downing), Nashville siren Trenna Barnes (Cowboy Crush, Ring of Fire) and introducing from Season 10 of American Idol and NBC’s The Voice, Alessandra Guercio as the blossoming subway singer.
The show-inspired by Sherman’s one-woman show, “Songbird,” which first showcased in Point Pleasant Beach–features songs by Etta James, Carole King, The Pointer Sisters, Kelly Clarkson, Aretha Franklin, Miley Cyrus, Whitney Houston, and Tina Turner. The character of Frankie is inspired by Previte, known for penning the hits “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” and “Hungry Eyes” for the classic film, Dirty Dancing.
The discovery of Guercio, Previte says, was a revelation. After watching a YouTube video of the Brooklyn native’s version of the Miley Cyrus hit, “The Climb,” he knew he had to have her in the cast.
“That song is in our show, and she used it as her audition song, and she blew me away,” Previte tells 1071 The Boss. “Holy cow, this girl really can sing.”
Guercio will make her debut at Monmouth University, alongside Previte and Frank Dicopoulos, an actor known for his 22 years on the soap opera Guiding Light (Frank Achilles Cooper Jr.), as the club owner.
Previte–a New Brunswick native raised in Milltown–just released the box set, “The Complete Collection.” Released by Friday Music, the set focuses on the three albums released by Franke & the Knockouts in the 1980s (with the hit, “Sweetheart” and featuring future Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres) on Millennium and MCA Records.
“Calling All Divas” is executive produced by Dennis J. D’Amico (Paul McCartney), directed, choreographed and co-written by Michael LaFleur (Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman) and music directed and conducted by Henry Aaronson (“Rock of Ages,” “Rocktopia”).
Calling all Divas is a one night only event, Thursday, July 11 at Monmouth University Center for the Arts, 400 Cedar Ave., West Long Branch, NJ 07764. Show time is 8 p.m.; Tickets $38 & $48 ($78 VIP). Complete info at www.monmouth.edu
Previte called in to 1071 The Boss to talk about the show with Michele Amabile! Listen Below:
And watch the clips below!