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Theater

Paramount in Aurora to stage world premiere 'August Rush: The Musical'

Local audiences will be the first to see the world premiere of “August Rush: The Musical” at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

The show is based on the original Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film about a musically gifted orphan and the search for his birth parents, a news release stated.

For the first time since launching its own Broadway Series in 2011, the Paramount is presenting a world premiere musical. Broadway’s John Doyle, the director who earned a Tony Award for “Sweeney Todd” and staged the revival of “The Color Purple,” starring Jennifer Hudson, helms the Paramount production, running April 24 to June 2.

“August Rush: The Musical” is the story of Evan Taylor, an 11-year-old orphan who believes in music like some believe in fairy tales. In a cruel twist of fate, Evan’s mother, an accomplished classical cellist, and his father, the lead singer of a rock band, don’t know of his existence.

From one foster home to the next, Evan refuses to give up hope in finding his parents. On this relentless search, he surrenders himself to the symphony of sounds in the city and follows the music, discovering his own genius along the way. In this inspiring love story, music is everywhere, but will it lead Evan home?

Just like Paramount’s recent hits “Million Dollar Quartet” and “Once,” the cast members are both the actors and the orchestra, and will play all instruments live on stage.

“I’m excited about the development of this new and unique musical,” Doyle stated in a release. “August Rush centers on the emotional and musical journey of a young boy – a lost boy. Through music, he reunites with the parents he otherwise may never have found. The hope that the story highlights is powerful. That, more than anything, is what attracted me to the material, and I’m honored to be a part of its journey.”

Paramount Theatre announced the principal cast members, leading with two young actors – Jack McCarthy and Huxley Westemeier – who will double in the title role of musical prodigy August Rush. The principal cast also stars George Abud, John Hickok, Leenya Rideout and Sydney Shepherd.

“When our Broadway Series began in 2011, we had big dreams for what it could become,” Jim Corti, artistic director of Paramount Theatre, stated in the release. “Over the years, those dreams have been brought to life again and again. And now, one of our biggest dreams is finally becoming a reality. ‘August Rush: The Musical,’ the first major project from our New Works Development Program guided by my colleague Amber Mak, represents the next step in Paramount’s evolution into one of the nation’s preeminent regional theaters. What does this mean to our more than 41,000 subscribers? It means they will be the first ever to see this production come to life.”

Doyle’s “August Rush” creative team includes 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 composer and lyricist Mark Mancina, who composed the platinum-selling soundtrack for the film “August Rush,” many songs for “The Lion King” and the score for Pixar’s film “Moana.”

Previews of the final show in the Paramount Theatre’s 2018-19 Broadway series start April 24. “August Rush” is suggested for ages 9 and older because of some adult themes and language.

If you go

WHAT: “August Rush: The Musical”

WHERE: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

WHEN: April 24 to June 2, with performances Wednesday through Sunday

COST: $36 to $69

INFO: ParamountAurora.com, 630-896-6666 or box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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