David Hasselhoff was the final lead in the Broadway production. He played the role from October, 2000 until the show closed on January 7, 2001. His personal star power and finances led to the production of the Direct from Broadway event and subsequent DVD preservation of the show.
Hasselhoff was already well known as a television actor, producing and starring in the worldwide hit series Baywatch. As a singer he had a number one hit in Germany in 1989 with the song Looking for Freedom.