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Pete Townsend’s Other Broadway Hit Marks 20th Anniversary

Pete Townsend, lead guitarist for The Who, helped dream up the idea for Rockers on Broadway.

Pete Townsend, lead guitarist for The Who, helped dream up the idea for Rockers on Broadway.

Broadway-actor Donnie Kehr was appearing in The Who’s Broadway musical Tommy when he and Who guitarist Pete Townsend hatched an idea to stage a rock music event on the Great White Way.

That was 20 years ago. Last week, Rockers On Broadway celebrated two decades of action-packed shows.

“Pete always encouraged everyone to flex their rock muscles,” says Kehr about the production.

The event has always been held on a Monday, Broadway’s usual dark night. Anyone with potential rock music inclinations can participate and let their hair down, so to speak.

Last week, Kehr and company marked the anniversary with a concert and plaudits for Townsend, who penned Tommy and director Des McAnuff.

The concert benefited the ASCAP Foundation’s Children Will Listen Program, The Broadway Dreams Foundation and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The organization has raised over $300,000 since its founding 20 years ago.

Held at the old Village Gate space in New York City, now known as Le Poisson Rouge, Kehr and company held a full-on rock revue.

Television and Broadway actor Michael Cerveris was one of the highlights of the night, with his rendition of “White Light, White Heat,” from The Velvet Underground.

Mickey Dolenz performed at the Rockers on Broadway celebration.

Mickey Dolenz performed at the Rockers on Broadway celebration.

Michael, who was amazing in the greatly-missed Fox Sci-Fi series “Fringe,” delivered an exceptional performance. Dazzling, in fact.

The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz showed up and performed “Another Pyramid,” from his AIDA play (where interestingly enough Kehr had played  Zoser). The famed Monkee also played the band’s hit, “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

Megan Rice, the 13-year-old phenom, quieted the often noisy SRO crowd with her exceptional vocals. Also performing were Lesli Margherita and Constatine Maroulis from the Broadway musical Rock Of Ages.

Making the scene were actress Sean Young, Tituss Burgess from The Little Mermaid, Rock of Ages producer Jeff Davis, Dolenz pr wizard David Salidor, producer Cori Gardner and Jeremy Schonfeld.

Names in the News

Donnie Kehr,Cori Gardner, Jacqueline Boyd, Andrew Saffir, Dayme, Paul Mormando, Jeremy Webster, Michael Jensen, Graham Nash, Mark Bego, William Schill, Anthony Noto, Alan Rothstein, Dell, Tom & Lisa Cuddy, Brett Winterble, Chip.

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