Robin Zander is headed to Broadway. The 65-year-old Cheap Trick frontman will make his Broadway debut in the rock musical Rocktopia next month, according to Playbill. Zander will be a special guest vocalist in Rocktopia for the final week of its limited engagement, starting April 23.
In addition to Robin Zander, Rocktopia features the Broadway debut of Train frontman Pat Monahan. Other cast members include Robert Evan (Jekyll & Hyde), Tony Vincent (American Idiot), Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Chloe Lowery, Kimberly Nichole (The Voice), and opera singer Alyson Cambridge.
The website for Rocktopia describes the show as a fusion of “the most iconic 20th-Century rock with the most world-renowned classical compositions.”
Five world-class vocalists take the very concept of music itself to electrifying new heights. The celebration of rock and classical music features a full symphony orchestra, an electrifying rock band, and a powerhouse choir and includes songs by Mozart, Aerosmith, Beethoven, Led Zeppelin, Handel, U2, Tchaikovsky, Pink Floyd, and more.
Robin Zander is best known for his work with Cheap Trick, the Illinois-based rock band he joined in 1975. With Zander on lead vocals, Cheap Trick shot to fame in the late 1970s with hits like “I Want You to Want Me,” “Surrender,” and “Dream Police.”
Robin Zander and Cheap Trick released their first self-titled album in 1977 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. While some of the band’s lineup has changed, Zander has remained a constant force in Cheap Trick for more than 40 years.
Zander previously told Rolling Stone that Cheap Trick always found a way to make a living on the road and that he has never considered retirement.
“We’ve always made a living, somehow or another,” Robin told Rolling Stone.
“We’ve relied on live performances. That’s allowed us to survive and finance our recordings. Also, it’s a privilege to get out there and play…I don’t see myself doing anything but what I’m doing right now. I’m not going to retire. Why would I ever do that? That’s crazy.”
Robin Zander is in good company as he embarks on his latest journey, a foray onto the Great White Way. According to TheaterMania, past rock musicians who’ve taken a turn on Broadway include Elton John, who won a Tony Award for his music for Aida, and ex-Skid Row lead singer Sebastian Bach, who starred in the Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde.
You can see Robin Zander and Cheap Trick performing one of their biggest hits below.