Jai Rodriguez, currently appearing as Angel in Rent on Broadway, will be leaving that show to play the title role in the upcoming Off-Broadway run of the musical Zanna, Don't! at the John Houseman Theatre.
A production of Amas Musical Theatre, Zanna, Don't was workshopped at the Yale Cabaret Theatre and in the Amas Six O'Clock Musical Theatre Lab prior to its recent Off-Off-Broadway engagement at the Rodney Kirk Theatre on West 42nd Street. The show has a book, music and lyrics by Tim Acito, with additional book & lyrics by Alexander Dinelaris. Billed as "a musical fairy tale," it tells the story of an androgynous teenager who exerts magical powers upon his peers in an alternate universe where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuality is considered weird. Zanna, Don't! is directed and choreographed by Devanand Janki, with musical supervision by Edward G. Robinson.
Jai Rodriguez's theater credits include Spinning Into Butter at Lincoln Center Theatre, Sad Hotel at the White Barn Theatre, and Rent in Canada. He has been seen on television as a guest star in All My Children and in commercials and industrials for Blockbuster, MTV, Sony, and American Express.
Zanna, Don't! will begin preview performances at the John Houseman on March 4 and will open officially on March 20. In his TheaterMania review of the production at the Rodney Kirk Theatre, David Finkle described the show as "delightfully unpredictable" as well as "silly, melodic, romantic, and imaginative. In other words, it's just about everything you might ask for from an eight-actor tuner at a time when -- thank our lucky stars! -- practitioners seem to be remembering that the term for enterprises like these used to be 'musical comedy.'"