Chicago – Drury Lane Theatre announces casting for the final show in its 2019/2020 season, the Regional Premiere of the beautifully captivating Gershwin musical An American in Paris. Leading the cast are Josh Drake as American GI Jerry Mulligan and Leigh-Ann Esty as Lise Dassin. Drake can currently be seen on Broadway in Disney’s Aladdin, and Esty returns to An American in Paris after playing the role of Lise on the show’s national tour. This Tony Award-winning musical features music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin with book by Craig Lucas and is directed and choreographed by Lynne Kurdziel-Formato. An American in Paris runs January 31 – March 29, 2020, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. The press opening is scheduled for Thursday, February 6, 2020, at 8:00 p.m.
The cast of An American in Paris includes Josh Drake (Jerry Mulligan), Leigh-Ann Esty (Lise Dassin), Skyler Adams (Adam Hochberg), Will Skrip (Henri Baurel), Erica Evans (Milo Davenport), and Caron Buinis (Madame Baurel). The ensemble includes Terrell Armstrong, McKinley Carter (March 18-29), Tony Carter, Alejandro Fonseca, Neil Friedman, Cory Goodrich (through March 15), Allyson Graves, Austin Ryan Hunt, Andrew MacNaughton, Francesca Mancusco, Trevor McChristian, Mandy Modic, Jarais Musgrove, Emily Ramirez, Emily Rohm, Casey Sanders, Sawyer Smith, Drew Tanabe, Ariel Etana Triunfo, and Sarah VanBindsbergen.
The creative team includes Chris Sargent (Music Director), Kevin Depinet (Scenic Designer), Karl Green (Costume Designer), Lee Fiskness (Lighting Designer), Ray Nardelli (Sound Designer), Kevan Loney (Projection Designer), Cassy Schillo (Properties Designer), and Joseph Pindelski (Dramaturg).
A tale inspired by hope and possibility, An American in Paris brings breathtaking moments of dance and song to the musical stage. Jive along with Jerry Mulligan, an American GI doing his best to make it as a painter in the bustling city of Paris following the end of World War II. The storied streets of the City of Lights become the dancefloor to a ravishing and passionate voyage into art, friendship, and love in the aftermath of the war. Based on the Academy Award-winning film, this Grammy Award nominee also won four Tony Awards for its heart and dedication. It will have you leaping to your feet and dancing along from the very first number.
An American in Paris is rated G.
About the Artists
JOSH DRAKE (Jerry Mulligan) is making his Drury Lane debut. Josh currently understudies the principal role of Kassim in Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway. He was in the National Tours of Finding Neverland and Dirty Dancing. Other selected credits include CBS’ Blue Bloods, My Big Gay Italian Wedding (Off-Broadway), and Dreamgirls (The MUNY).
LEIGH-ANN ESTY (Lise Dassin) Originally from Gorham, Maine, Leigh-Ann began her professional dance career with Miami City Ballet Company in 2005. After completing 11 seasons, she joined the First National Tour of Broadway’s An American in Paris. She performed as the Lise alternate as well as in the ensemble. In 2018, she made her Broadway debut in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, which earned 11 Tony Award nominations and 2 wins. She had the privilege of performing the role of Louise several times as the understudy, marking her principal debut on Broadway. Esty will appear in the upcoming Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story, in theatres December 2020. Other Television/Film credits include: Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Fosse/Verdon.
SKYLER ADAMS (Adam Hochberg) returns to Drury Lane. Favorite credits include: Broadway: Waitress. National Tours: Waitress, Pippin. Film/TV: The Past is Never Dead (William Faulkner); Chicago PD; Ambitions; Your Worst Nightmare. Chicago: Next to Normal (Henry), Les Miséserables (Marius) with Drury Lane; World Premiere of Bartram and Hill’s The Adventures of Pinocchio (Pinocchio) with Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Oklahoma! with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Hair (Claude), Grease (Danny), Fiddler on the Roof (Motel) with Paramount Theatre; Pippin (Pippin), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Quasimodo), Catch Me If You Can (Frank Jr.), Big Fish (Will), Legally Blonde (Emmett), and Spamalot (Fred track) with Music Theatre Wichita.
WILL SKRIP (Henri Baurel) returns to Drury Lane after appearing in Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Sleeping Beauty, Les Misérables, Hello, Dolly!, Sunset Boulevard, and Singin’ in the Rain. Other credits include: Ghost (Sam) and A Murder is Announced (Patrick) at Peninsula Players Theatre, West Side Story (Tony) at Paramount Theatre and Berkeley Playhouse, Madagascar (Melman) at Marriott Theatre, Disney’s Little Mermaid (Prince Eric) at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Trevor at Writer’s Theatre, and Carousel and My Fair Lady at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Northwestern Alum.
ERICA EVANS (Milo Davenport) returns to the Drury Lane stage where she was last seen in the productions of South Pacific, 42nd Street, Chicago, Crazy For You, and Hazel! Other regional credits: 42nd Street (The Ordway); A Chorus Line, A Funny Thing…Forum (Porchlight); The Producers, Oklahoma (Paramount Theatre); Anything Goes, Damn Yankees (Music Theater Works); Mamma Mia (Marriott Theatre); Spamalot (Mercury Theater); and The Little Mermaid (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Proud Indiana University Alum.
CARON BUINIS (Madame Baurel) returns to Drury Lane Theatre, where previous productions include Saturday Night Fever and A Christmas Carol. Other Chicago credits include: The Wizard of Oz, Cabaret, Oklahoma!, and The Music Man with Paramount Theatre; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Sweeney Todd, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Form with Porchlight Music Theatre; King Liz with Windy City Playhouse; The Audience, Chimerica, and Juno with TimeLine Theatre; Love Repeating and The Full Monty (Jeff Nomination) with Kokandy Productions; The Language Archive (Piven Theatre); The Spitfire Grill and Kiss of the Spider Woman (BoHo Theatre). On-camera credits include Chicago Fire and American Greed.