As the riverbanks of The Fox thaw from Sunday’s snowstorm, (holy cow!) things sure are warming up at Paramount for the arrival of the cast of August Rush: The Musical, the World Premiere musical adaptation of the movie now going into Tech. Most of the cast in this beautifully gifted company of actor-musicians will be seeing our theater for the first time this afternoon. I’ve got butterflies! So excited for you to meet them! Allow me to introduce them to you:

George Abud*, Marta Bagratuni, Alex Bender*, Matt Deitchman*, Ginna Doyle*, Brad Giovanine*, Lizzie Hagstedt*, John Hickok*, Jessie Linden, Jack McCarthy*, Leenya Rideout*, Troy Valjean Rucker*, Sydney Shepherd*, Doug Smith, Huxley Westemeier*, Katrina Yaukey*, Jenn Chandler* (understudy), Adam Michaels* (understudy), Cassidy Stirtz* (understudy) *denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association

Let’s begin with the role of young “August Rush” himself, who starts off in the story named “Evan Taylor” before he becomes a musical prodigy star. Sharing the role on alternate performances will be Jack McCarthy, who debuted on Broadway in Finding Neverland and Huxley Westemeier, seen in the National Tour of School of Rock.

As August’s parents, the charismatic rock band frontman, “Lewis” is played by George Abud (Broadway: The Band’s Visit and The Visit) and the celebrated classical cellist, “Lyla” is portrayed by Sydney Shepherd (Broadway: First Date).

The roles of Lyla’s father and the mystical, musical cult leader “Wizard” are both being played by John Hickok of the original Broadway casts of Parade, Little Women and Aida.

Seeing so much talent in one place at the same time for the first time, always does a number on me.

In the role of “Hope,” newly conceived for this production, is Leenya Rideout of Broadway’s Warhorse, Cyrano de Bergerac, Company and Cabaret.

This “Ensemble” as well has a pedigree of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Regional Theatre credits and align with Director John Doyle’s actor-musician-singer aesthetic, exquisite talents all of them: Marta Bagratuni, Alex Bender, Matt Deitchman (Paramount’s Sweeney Todd, Tommy, Wizard of Oz), Ginna Doyle, Brad Giovanine, Lizzie Hagstedt, Jessie Linden, Troy Valjean Rucker, Doug Smith, and Katrina Yaukey. The triple-threat chops continue with our Understudies: Jenn Chandler and Cassidy Stirtz of Paramount’s Once and Adam Michaels of Paramount’s Rent and Hair.

Seeing so much talent in one place at the same time for the first time, always does a number on me. They’ve been rehearsing and exploring this breathtaking new work in New York City all the while I’ve been here putting The Producers together and enjoying its run. To be observing the development of this piece now on our stage, moment by moment with them, observing its nuances helmed by the masterful, John Doyle and Broadway Choreographer Joanne Hunter, is a rare experience I’m so happy to be sharing with you soon!

Love & thanks,