Up at dawn working on production notes for MISS SAIGON’s sets, props, projection images and dramaturgy, with rehearsal beginning in less than two weeks! And now focusing on you, my friend, this clear and sunny morning, sharing the highs and lows, ups and downs that make up this life in the Theatre. Ecstatic attendees at IN THE HEIGHTS have been emailing, texting, phoning all week to say they had never seen the show before and how thrilled they are to have discovered it here at Paramount. So many commented on how they identified with this story of love and family and community in the Upper Manhattan Latin neighborhood and how the heartfelt performances and the salsas, rumbas and gorgeous singing and dancing have made this show a newfound favorite. From “SPECTACULAR” spelled out in an email to yes, a lonely hand written poison pen letter on my desk. I probably shouldn’t be addressing it here at all, just dismiss it… but it lodges itself in my psyche. There is something to learn here. Always, there are lessons for us in the things that sting. Listen. The trend to ignore does not work for me. This person is angry. Hurting. If the lesson is only to acknowledge the irony: that where the intention is to bring the joy of a beautiful story with music into the lives of those who attend, the result for this soul is the opposite. Yeah, I care. And that caring reinvigorated goes right into the next project!

While I’m trying to finish this blog, email notifications have been ringing in consistently and for fear of missing something that needs my immediate attention, I click over to check in and here’s what I find from Crestwood High School:

“The seats were great, the show was amazing and everyone who came absolutely loved it. We’re all incredibly inspired and excited to get working on our version of the show this spring. Please pass on our sincerest thanks to Jonathan Butler-Duplessis for speaking with our students after the show. It was incredibly nice of him to spend some of the short break he had between shows to answer questions and give some great advise and even pose for some photographs…the show was incredible and we’d like to thank and congratulate the cast, crew, orchestra and everyone else involved for their phenomenal performances. We’ll definitely keep an eye on your production schedule and see if we can arrange some more trips. Thank you so much for everything!”

You are welcome! Literally, welcome back anytime, Crestwood High!

And this from none other than the fabulous Mirna Lopez-Freitag, Board President of the Aurora Puerto Rican Cultural Council:

“I gathered a group of 30 individuals and we all went to the Sunday night show…it was FANTASTIC – WE ALL LOVED IT!”

Yes, these are “the highs”, ladies and gentlemen! Ever grateful for them and for you!

More auditions for RENT this week, and 42ND ST. needs just one more dynamite guy who can tap his face off!

See ya next week,