Dan Rosales: Bringing Laughter and Heart to Cat Kid Comic Club: The Musical

Markia Nicole Smith as Naomi and Dan Rosales as Melvin. Photo by Jeremy Daniel


In the dazzling world of theater, where imagination takes center stage, and stories come to life, Dan Rosales has carved a niche for himself as a versatile and charismatic performer. Best known for originating the role of Harold in Dog Man: The Musical, Rosales now takes on a new adventure as Melvin Frog in the world premiere of Cat Kid Comic Club: The Musical. In a recent interview, Rosales opens up about his experience, the joys of performing, and the magic of New York City theater.

“It feels so great to be back in the hilarious and zany Pilkey-world, and I’m so glad we get to bring this wonderful show to audiences of all ages,” Rosales beams, reflecting on his involvement in Cat Kid Comic Club: The Musical. The production, inspired by Dav Pilkey’s beloved series, promises a mix of hilarity and heart, and Rosales is thrilled to be part of it. The talented actor was drawn to the show not only for its humor but also for the poignant message it carries: “I love that Kevin del Aguila and Brad Alexander have crafted something that is as thoughtful as it is funny, and I was so drawn to the message that as long as you love what you do, you can never fail.”

In Cat Kid Comic Club: The Musical, Rosales takes on the role of Melvin Frog, a young and nerdy tadpole with an endearing personality. Describing his character, Rosales reveals, “Melvin Frog is known for his dorky blue bow tie and affinity for the color orange. He’s a bit of a teacher’s pet, but ultimately just wants to do his very best.” Melvin’s journey is interwoven with the dynamic he shares with his sister Naomi, and Rosales is excited about the evolving relationship: “They don’t always see eye to eye, but through the show, they develop an understanding of each other’s points of view and what life is like inside their shoes.

Having originated the role of Harold in DOGMAN, Rosales is no stranger to creating characters from scratch. Comparing the experiences, he notes, “This role is a little more directly involved in the story and less narrator-like as George and Harold were in DOGMAN. I love the large group feeling with all the tadpoles and being able to find the relationships with this kooky group.” The musical boasts a unique element where the characters act out comic books, adding depth and creativity to the production.

When asked about the show’s essence, Rosales explains, “I think audiences and families can expect to see all the fun-filled action that is quintessential to Dav Pilkey’s wonderful books. Besides finding just laughter in the hijinks that ensue, the theme of acceptance and staying true to who you are and what you love will hopefully resonate with our younger audience members as well.” It’s clear that Cat Kid Comic Club: The Musical not only entertains but also imparts valuable life lessons.

Among the captivating moments in the musical, Rosales holds a special place for the number “Chubbs McSpiderbutt.” He assures that whether or not you’re familiar with the Cat Kid Comic Club, this particular sequence will take the audience on a wild and unforgettable ride.

Stepping away from the stage, Rosales offers insights into his life beyond the spotlight. As a New York City resident, he has discovered his own favorite spots: “I am very lucky to live pretty close to Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side. One of my favorite daily routines is being able to walk my dog through the plaza and gawk at the Chagall’s hanging in the huge windows.” Embracing the city’s energy, he also enjoys leisurely rides on the CitiBike along the scenic west side highway.

In the midst of the bustling city, Rosales has found hidden gems that he eagerly recommends. “I love Riverside Park in the 60s-70s. There’s a great little cafe called Pier 1 that has fun bites and cocktails right on the water, perfect for a summer respite,” he shares. These lesser-known spots offer a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Reflecting on the unique theater scene in NYC, Rosales emphasizes, “I think NYC is the heartbeat of theatre. There’s incredible theaters all across the globe, but the energy of being on Broadway and seeing all the flashing marquees is incomparable.” The city’s vibrant theater culture and its proximity to exceptional talent make it a dream destination for performers and theater enthusiasts alike.

Wrapping up the conversation, Rosales imparts valuable advice for aspiring actors: “I think the best advice is to just keep your head up and keep doing what you love. There isn’t one right or wrong way to find success in NYC…


Rosales is joined on stage L.R. Davidson (TWUSA’s Dog Man. Regional: Follies), Jamie LaVerdiere (Broadway:  Motown The Musical, TWUSA’s Dog Man), Brian Owen (TWUSA’s Dog Man. Mint Theater’s Chains), Sonia Roman (NY: More Than This: A New Musical), Markia Nicole Smith (Regional: School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play, TWUSA’s Dog Man), with understudies Jeremy Fuentes (Regional: Xanadu)  and Malynne Smith (TWUSA’s Rosie Revere Engineer and Friends)

The creative team includes Set Design by Cameron Anderson, Lighting Design by David Lander, Costume Design by Jen Caprio, Co-Sound Designers Scott Stauffer & Jesse Desrosiers, Puppet Design by AchesonWalsh Studios/ Fergus Walsh, Matt Acheson

TheaterWorksUSA (TWUSA) is proud to announce the cast and creative team for the upcoming World Premiere of the musical adaptation of #1 bestselling  Cat Kid Comic Club series by Dav Pilkey. The limited run is written by the award-winning team of Kevin Del Aguila (book and lyrics) and Brad Alexander (music), with direction and choreography by Marlo Hunter and musical direction by Paul Staroba.  Performances will begin on July 21, in advance of its opening night on Sunday, July 30, at 3 PM and will run through August 27, 2023, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street). For more information about TheaterWorksUSA, please visit www.TWUSA.org