Tomell: The season finale will be 'August Rush.' How did it come about?
Corti: When Tim Rater (president and CEO of the Paramount Theatre) and I talked [in the] early stages of what was going to happen with this Broadway Series, we pledged we would do a new work and see what we could contribute to Broadway. [More recently], Tim puts a CD in. He plays this gorgeous symphonic score I'd never heard before. It was thrilling and chilling. [He told me] that's the soundtrack to the movie 'August Rush.'
Amber [learned] there was actually work being done on 'August Rush' by … Signature Theatre [near] Washington, D.C. They're bringing it here to develop for a full-scale, co-production. John Doyle is a highly esteemed Broadway director. He's Scottish and has done a string of hits on Broadway. It's going to be wonderful to have him here. The musical adaptation is by Mark Mancina who wrote the soundtrack to the movie. It has a wonderful, elevated quality to it.
Tomell: What is the plot?
Corti: A classical cellist goes to a party and meets the front man of a rock band. Opposites … attract. She has a baby, [but] her father is a very conservative type elitist [who separates the couple and] plots in the hospital to [lead her] to believe the baby died. The baby goes into an orphanage. The young woman somehow feels her baby is still alive – a cosmic connection between a mother and child. The boy becomes this prodigy of a musician. He picks up the guitar and does wild acoustic fingering and percussion on the guitar and finds his way to Lincoln Center. Somehow, the child's music brings all three of them together. You follow the music and you will find home. It's quite beautiful.
Tomell: You have put together such a string of hits at the Paramount, winning lots of Jeff awards. The Paramount has won for best large musical the last three years for Chicago area theater. What's your secret?
Corti: People brought together who care about what they're doing in an open collaborative atmosphere is turning into the formula of how we do this.