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'American Idol' star Justin Guarini to appear in Broadway's 'Women on the Verge'

August 19, 2010 | 11:30 am

Justin The loud groan you just heard is New York's theater community reacting to Thursday's announcement that another "American Idol" alumnus is headed to Broadway. Starting this fall, former "Idol" contestant Justin Guarini -- he of the wild hair and infectiously upbeat personality -- will perform in the new Broadway musical "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown."

The show, which is being produced by Lincoln Center Theater, is based on the 1988 Pedro Almodóvar movie of the same name. The stage version, which will star Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sherie Rene Scott and Laura Benanti, is set to open at the Belasco Theatre on Nov. 4.

Bartlett Sher, who directed Lincoln Center's "South Pacific," will stage the musical production.

Guarini was a finalist on the first season of "American Idol," ultimately losing to Kelly Clarkson. His post-"Idol" career has included music recordings, TV appearances and a handful of films, such as the poorly received "From Justin to Kelly."

Guarini will play the role of Carlos, the son of Iván and Lucía, who will be played by Stokes Mitchell and LuPone.

Though often seen by theater purists as little more than box-office enticement, some "Idol" alums have managed to impress the critics with their Broadway debuts, most notably Constantine Maroulis in "Rock of Ages" and Fantasia Barrino in "The Color Purple."

And in case Guarini is feeling lonely in New York this season, he can always seek solace a few blocks away at the Richard Rodgers Theater, where "Idol" alumna Jordin Sparks has joined the cast of "In the Heights."

-- David Ng

Photo: Justin Guarini. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times