Western Hills grad chasing dream on Broadway

BY BESS HINSON State-Journal Staff Writer Published:

Will Chase may have crossed Ann Street to reach Broadway in downtown Frankfort as a child, but today this Frankfort native walks past 47th Street to a Broadway with theaters and bright lights.

Chase stars in "Aida," one of three long-running Disney musicals on Broadway. Chase joined the show as Radames June 30 at the Palace Theatre. He performs with co-stars Toni Braxton and Mandy Gonzalez.

While awaiting the start of his role in "Aida," Chase traded the heat of stage lights for film and television cameras.

Chase said he's been on "Law & Order" and "Third Watch." He also finished the film, "Brooklyn," for HBO.

"It was nice knowing I would have a show, and I could do other things," Chase said.

Chase worked with "Aida" two years ago as a stand-by for which he had two weeks of rehearsal. Because Chase contracted with the show a year before his starting run, there was more rehearsal time, he said.

"We had four weeks in studio rehearsal with the director and time to revisit and recreate," Chase said. "It was great because Toni Braxton was new and the other lead was formerly a standby, but also new."

"Aida" is a musical adaptation of Guiseppe Verdi's opera with music composed by Elton John. Disney also produces the musicals "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King."

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