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'Rock of Ages' welcomes 3 NFL stars to Broadway

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NEW YORK (AP)

Three current and former NFL stars - Randall Cobb, Joique Bell and Ahman Green - are about to get in touch with their inner thespian.

The producers of ''Rock of Ages'' said Friday that the trio will make their Broadway stage debuts in small parts next week in the splashy homage to 1980s rock `n' roll at The Helen Hayes Theatre.

Cobb, a Green Bay Packer wide receiver, will appear in Tuesday's show. Detroit Lions running back Bell will be in the evening show the next night, followed by retired four-time Pro-Bowl running back Green in the Feb. 1 matinee.

''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,'' ''I Wanna Know What Love Is,'' ''Can't Fight This Feeling'' ''Here I Go Again'' and ''Don't Stop Believin.''

The football stars won't be required to do too much heavy lifting: Producers have created a bartender character for them that includes four appearances throughout the show with some fun lines.

It's the latest Broadway promotion tied to the Super Bowl trying to take advantage of the throngs descending on the area. Broadway's musicals will be seen in mini-concerts on outdoor stages in the days leading up to the Feb. 2 kick-off and a discount ticket deal has been launched.

A stretch of Broadway from 34th Street to 47th will be closed to traffic, renamed Super Bowl Boulevard and converted into a rollicking theme park, merchandise shop and concert venue. Theater producers stress that venues are open for business.

The cast of ''Jersey Boys'' will take the stage on the boulevard on Wednesday and ''Rock of Ages'' follows a day later. Both will also make appearances outside the MetLife Stadium at the NFL's Tailgate Party before kickoff Feb. 2. The casts of ''Pippin,'' ''Newsies,'' ''Motown the Musical,'' ''Rocky,'' ''Mamma Mia!'' and ''Chicago'' will be appearing at Bryant Park.

A current two-for-one ticket promotion is trying to keep fans in Time Square. More than two dozen shows will offer the deal, including ''Mamma Mia!'' ''Newsies,'' ''The Phantom of the Opera'' and ''Once.'' The promotion runs until to Feb. 6.

Many Broadway shows will alter their show schedule to take advantage of the crowds. But one normally busy day will be quiet - Feb. 2, the day of the game. Some shows will offer matinees, but none will open their doors that evening.

Football players on Broadway are not unheard of.

Joe Namath, the quarterback nicknamed ''Broadway Joe,'' made an appearance on Broadway in 1983 as a replacement in a revival of ''The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.'' And Michael Strahan, who holds the single season sack record, made three short appearances in ''Elf'' last year.

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Online:

http://www.nycgo.com/broadwayweek

Tagged: Lions, Packers, Ahman Green

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