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George Abud, Jack McCarthy and Huxley Westemeier Lead Cast of AUGUST RUSH

George Abud, Jack McCarthy and Huxley Westemeier Lead Cast of AUGUST RUSH

Chicago audiences will be the first to see the world premiere of August Rush: The Musical a never-before-seen musical based on the original Oscar-nominated Warner Bros film about a musically gifted orphan and the search for his birth parents.

For the first time since launching its own Broadway Series in 2011, Aurora's Paramount Theatre is presenting a world premiere musical. John Doyle, the internationally acclaimed director who earned a Tony Award for Sweeney Toddand also staged the Broadway revival of The Color Purple starring Jennifer Hudson, helms Paramount's production, running April 24-June 2, 2019. Press opening is Friday, May 3 at 8 p.m.

Today, Paramount Theatre announced the principal cast members, leading with two exciting young actors - Jack McCarthy and Huxley Westemeier - who will double in the title role of August Rush.

Jack McCarthy made his Broadway debut at age 8 as Michael in Finding Neverland. His other recent credits include Shadowlands Off-Broadway, the films Viper Club, Family Fang and The Path on TV.

Huxley Westemeier played Billy and understudied Lawrence in the National Broadway Tour School of Rock the Musical. Other credits include Watch On the Rhine at The Guthrie Theater, Jesus Christ Superstar at The Ordway, and as Manny in the world premiere of Diary of A Wimpy Kid the Musical directed by Rachel Rockwell at Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis.

Broadway musical theater star George Abud will play August Rush's long lost father, Lewis Chapman. Abud's Broadway credits include The Band's Visit starring Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub and The Visit starring Chita Rivera and Roger Rees. Off Broadway he played in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui opposite Raúl Esparza, Nathan The Wise opposite F. Murray Abraham, Peer Gynt opposite Gabriel Ebert, Allegro directed by John Doyle for Classic Stage Company and The Band's Visit at Atlantic Theater Company.

Broadway veteran John Hickok will play dual roles, Wizard and Thomas Novacek. Hickok originated the roles of Governor Slaton in Parade, Professor Bhaer in Little Women, Zoser in Aida on Broadway and is featured on all three cast albums. Other key credits include Man and Boy with Frank Langella at Roundabout and Our Country's Good. Regionally he played Beauregard opposite Michelle Lee in Mame, and John Adams in Frank Galati's 1776.

Leenya Rideout, who plays Hope, performed on Broadway in War Horse, Cyrano de Bergerac, Company and Cabaret. Her Off-Broadway credits includeWild Abandon, Before We're Gone, As You Like It and Taming of the Shrew.

Sydney Shepherd will play August's birth mother, Lyla Novacek. Shepherd's Broadway credits include First Date as standby for Casey/Lauren/Allison. She was the cellist in Folk Wandering Off-Broadway and performed regionally inJasper In Deadland as Gretchen at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.

Just like Paramount's recent hits Million Dollar Quartet and Once, the cast members in August Rush: The Musical are both the actors and the orchestra and play all instruments live on stage, creating the beautiful symphony of this story.

The multi-talented ensemble is Marta Bagratuni, Alex Bender, Matt Deitchman, Ginna Doyle, Brad Giovanine, Lizzie Hagstedt, Jessie Linden, Troy Valjean Rucker, Doug Smith and Katrina Yaukey.

Paramount audiences will recall Matt Deitchman for his memorable turn as the faux barber Adolfo Pirelli in Paramount's 2017 Jeff Award winning Best Musical-Large, Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Already announced is Doyle's August Rush creative team including Emmy Award-winning book writer and lyricist Glen Berger, who also co-wrote the book for Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, and celebrated composer and lyricist Mark Mancina, who also composed the platinum selling soundtrack for the film August Rush, many songs for The Lion King and the score for Pixar's hit film Moana.

Choreographer is JoAnn M. Hunter whose Broadway credits include School of Rock (US National Tour, West End, Australia), Disaster, On A Clear Day... andBroadway Bound. Orchestrations and arrangements are by Dave Metzger, who orchestrated the films August Rush, Training Day and Tarzan and earned a Tony nomination for Disney's The Lion King.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski

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