On Sunday, March 24, the final curtain came down on Fiddler on the Roof having played to 29,000 in attendance during its breathtakingly beautiful 3-week run!  My God, the cast and crew and orchestra raised the roof!   Kudos and thanks!

Sitting here a little misty eyed reading emails, listening to voicemails, looking at photos…so many so moved to express their experience…how their children left the theatre singing and that discussions ensued about history and prejudices today:

“My oldest son left singing Tradition skipping across Galena Blvd. into the parking garage. What I loved most about bringing them was that it allowed me to begin a dialogue about the Jewish people and their plight of persecution throughout history.  It opens the door for me to have conversations about tolerance of other people different than them.”

And this:

“Jim, my daughters and I went to see Fiddler this afternoon. We all loved it! My youngest is writing about the show for show-and-tell. She said she didn’t understand why the Russians couldn’t live with the Jews. Big discussions in the car, and the first time my daughter ever asked such a philosophical question…I was surprised. Thanks for such a fun, relevant theatre experience…..we will be back!  Yes, live theatre gives children a chance to see how history affected real people, and they see how those people felt, and how they would have felt. As both my kids are adopted from Russia, this was especially significant for them.”

And several more were astonished at things revealed they had never seen before in this beloved American musical masterpiece.

“Don’t be sad!  Think of the great memories we have now!” was what I repeated to comfort our bittersweet farewells on Sunday, but I sit here feeling the complete sentimental sap myself.   I need to buck up!  What more can we hope for than to deliver theatre that inspires!  The magnificent orchestral scale and visually stunning achievement coupled with the wholly human heart manifest in this story make a potent combination.  A combination individuals cannot help themselves from responding to in their own words.  The actors, musicians, designers, crew and staff carry the high spirits of the event throughout the run as we marvel at the greatness of the writing and their performance.  We are making memories indeed!  This is the finale of only our second season, ladies and gentlemen!  Paramount has produced a mere eight Broadway Series shows!  Because of you, we are moving forward into Season 3 with 20,000 subscribers!  So much has happened so quickly!  A scene shop, costume shop, lighting and sound inventory, and audience development built from scratch in record time to bring The City of Aurora and its surrounds and the Chicago theatre community itself, a musical theatre house of freshly envisioned and deeply felt work.  Yeah, now that’s feeling better!  We can all take pride in the part we play in the civic and cultural success of this new adventure!  As sad as closing night can be, we are at the beginning of a new optimism in anticipation of realizing the potential of the talent we are bringing right here to The City of Lights!

Alright, Season 3!  Bring it!