Originally from Cary, 13-year-old Casey Lyons already had McHenry County fans rooting him on since his days as Oliver in a 2015 Woodstock Musical Theatre Company production.
Now he has fans throughout the country. Lyons, the son of Jennifer and Dale Lyons, stars as Gustave in a national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies,” the follow-up musical to 1986’s “The Phantom of the Opera” playing through March 4 at Broadway in Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Lyons. His tour of “Love Never Dies” began last October and is slated to stop in at least 25 more cities through September. The production could end up on Broadway.
For Lyons, who moved from Cary – where he attended Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School – to Lake Forest a couple of years ago, the musical is the latest in an extensive theater resume. It all began with a role in a Cary Park District’s “Sleeping Beauty.”
He soon landed the Woodstock Opera House role, along with quite a few others – Michael in “Mary Poppins” at Mercury Theater in Chicago, Harold Baxter in “Hazel: A Musical Maid in America” at Drury Lane, Hero Boy in The Polar Express Train Ride in Chicago and Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol,” once again at Drury Lane.
“I really have just enjoyed it all my life, and it’s been a passion of mine for awhile,” he said of acting.
He had seen “Phantom of the Opera” the year before and said, “Hey mom, next we should go see ‘Love Never Dies.’ It’s coming.” He soon learned of auditions for the musical and found out on his last day of school he’d landed the role.
“It’s really fun being on the road,” he said. It’s a beautiful show, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beautiful music, amazing people, beautiful designs and sets and costumes. ... I know I’m a little bit biased.”
Traveling with his father, a history teacher, Lyons has been homeschooled on tour. “While I’m performing, he researches the city and its history and finds fun little field trips to go on,” he said of his father.
He also enjoys photography and writing music, but said, “Acting is my main thing.”
As for future desired roles, “There are so many I want to play. I kind of take it for what I get,” he said.