Rising Star

David Gisser

Ben Platt ’11 will star in the upcoming Chicago production of “The Book of Mormon,” playing the role of missionary Elder Arnold Cunningham. The musical is scheduled to premiere Dec. 11 at the Bank of America Theatre and end in Oct. 2013, but show dates are expected to be extended. This will be the first non-touring replica of the musical.

“I’m very excited. It’s a dream come true for sure,” Platt said.

Platt most recently starred alongside Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Brittney Snow and Rebel Wilson in the musical comedy film “Pitch Perfect” directed by Jason Moore. He played the part of Benji, a dorky magician who wants to be part of the school’s acappella group.

“One of the people who created the show saw ‘Pitch Perfect’ and he really liked my character and thought it would be really good for Cunningham and asked me to come in and audition,” Platt said.

The Broadway hit, “The Book of Mormon,” is about two mismatched Mormon missionaries who travel to Uganda to try and convert the local people, who are not concerned with religion.

The musical, written by “South Park” creators Trey Parker, Matt Stone and “Avenue Q” co-creator Robert Lopez, has won nine Tony Awards and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

While at Harvard Westlake, Platt was involved with the performing arts department. He played the lead roles in the 2011 performances of “Pippin” and “The Servants of Two Masters” and was part of Chamber Singers.

He said that performing arts teachers Chris Moore, Ted Walch, and Rees Pugh “all prepared me more than I can possibly say for professional settings. It was easy to jump in, it always has been and Harvard-Westlake is an amazing place to get training as a person and actor.”

“Ben is one of the smartest, most disciplined and least ego-centric actors with whom I have ever worked and I absolutely saw this coming,” Walch said.