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The Broadway cast of the Tony-nominated show "Rock of Ages" will perform two hair-band-centric 30-minute sets live outside MetLife Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday in the hours before kickoff, braving the elements but also giving incredible attention to the 5-year-old show.
"Everyone keeps saying it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing that the Super Bowl is in New York, so to have 'Rock of Ages' perform on Super Bowl Sunday is amazing," said Matthew DiCarlo, the show's production stage manager.
The second show will close out the Fox live pre-game show from 5:10 to 5:40 p.m. Other musical acts include Phillip Phillips and The Band Perry, and Bill O'Reilly will conduct a live sit-down interview with President Barack Obama.
At a recent rehearsal in midtown, DiCarlo watched as cast members ran through their crowded set, which includes songs such as "I Wanna Rock," "Here I Go Again," "I Can't Fight This Feeling" and "Don't Stop Believin.'"
They've had to adjust to a smaller space - masking tape on the floor marked off a new 12-by-32-foot stage - and sing into wooden sticks to help them get familiar with using microphones, which they don't use on Broadway.
They've also learned new choreography - including some nods to the game itself, including mimicking an extra-point kick - and a new set list, since the songs in the show are in a different order.
The cast, which includes Kate Rockwell, Aaron C. Finley, Joey Calveri, Genson Blimline and Adam Dannheisser, says it will be ready. After all, they're Broadway pros.
"It's almost become second nature, in a way," said Blimline, who plays the narrator. "The venue around you may change but essentially the material is always the same."
The high exposure for "Rock of Ages" is part of a push by Broadway producers to grab the attention of football fans crowding the New York-New Jersey area. A 13-block stretch of Broadway encompassing Times Square has been closed to traffic, renamed Super Bowl Boulevard and converted into a rollicking theme park.
Other shows including "Pippin," "Newsies," "Motown the Musical," "Rocky," "Mamma Mia!" and "Chicago" will be appearing at nearby Bryant Park. "Jersey Boys" will join "Rock of Ages" on Super Bowl Sunday outside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
"Rock of Ages," which was made into a film starring Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin, tells the story of small-town girl and an aspiring rocker who share the dream of fame and whose paths cross at a legendary rock club.
Their glittery romance is set to a rock 'n' roll soundtrack that includes "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," "Cum on Feel The Noize" and "I Wanna Know What Love Is."
More than any show on Broadway, "Rock of Ages" has pulled out the stops when it comes to welcoming football fans. In addition to the new live sets, producers have managed to persuade three current and former NFL stars - Randall Cobb, Joique Bell and Ahman Green - to do cameos on Broadway this week. They'll all play a bartender with four short scenes.
"Anybody who knows me knows I'm really random and I do some of the most random things ever. I'll just add this to my list," Cobb, a Green Bay Packer wide receiver, said before his stint. "I want to be as diverse as I can."