With the dawn of this Tuesday morning and the white sky promise of snowfall, I muse on that special quirk and perk of my job that is: music is constantly resounding in my head. The soundtrack to my life is always Paramount’s current show, and I realize what a gift it is to have these voices singing to me throughout the day. To reach for the coffee pot hearing the gentle strains of the wedding song, “Dju vui vay” from MISS SAIGON, angelic and sweet, is not a bad way to start the day. I noticed during IN THE HEIGHTS, I found the inner voices were unstoppable. When something is in your head, there is no off switch! And it is just one of the rewards of Musical Theatre…how the quality of the experience can be absorbed into your everyday life. It stays with you. Adds to your enjoyment of daily patterns and tasks as the monotony gives way to a bounce in your step, a lighter hand, a brighter mood and thoughtfulness.
What makes me most proud of MISS SAIGON is the emotion, humanity and beauty I think we found in the piece. Under the baton of maestro Shawn Stengel and the Sound Design of Adam Rosenthal, the score revealed its riches like I have never heard before, so lush and full, symphonic. Set Designer Linda Buchanan’s inspired structures of red bamboo sculpting every scene asking us to imagine not only physical but emotional and psychological locales for this war torn journey. All of it more vibrant with Lighting Designer Jesse Klug’s sensitivity to mood and drama and a killer Act 2 with the garish neon of Bangkok and illuminated poignancy and horror of “Kim’s Nightmare”, the helicopter scene. There is the great creative vitality of Linda Roethke’s costumes and Mike Tutaj’s projection design that layers theatricality with history and at once grounds and launches our ride through the tragic story. And ultimately, we are in the hands of the finest company of actors one could hope to see in MISS SAIGON. How they access their own truth portraying these characters while combining the technical skill and brilliance of their singing makes for a dazzling yet human performance audiences will never forget. Everyone met the operatic scale and reach of the authors’ intent with a great aesthetic and excitement and originality. These sounds and images remain and remind and are the gift of attending live theatre. That we have the excellence and quality of such fine artists is what instills such pride and thanksgiving in having our own Paramount Theatre productions right here in Aurora.
And you, Dear Reader, are supporting this work with an enthusiasm that is more moving than I could ever have expected. From the beginning of our first season, our audience has been off the charts with appreciation for the integrity of our work. Half way through our third season, my friend, it is you that is making the difference with your support for us to continue to give you our very best. Every artist, technical hand, and staff member realizes your appreciation for the difference we are making by caring and taking the responsibility of making your trip to the theatre an experience that will engage your mind and your heart. There is great passion for excellence in theatre on both sides of the footlights. The rewards are grand but also found in simply being alone whistling a tune or humming along while you move through your day. A raised consciousness? I think so. And there is more on the horizon. See you soon!
My love & thanks,