Warm wishes during this wintry pre-dawn sub-zero wind chill! It’s another horizontal snow blast in Aurora this morning! You know lake-effect snow, well this must be the “river-effect”…Fox River-effect snow! Exhilarating! Especially considering the terrific production meeting we had on RENT yesterday afternoon. Set Designer Kevin Depinet and Lighting Designer Jesse Klug (Fiddler, Music Man, Hair, & Joseph) are joining forces again to bring us a production you won’t soon forget. It’s a highly theatrical representation of an abandoned two story concrete building covered in graffiti circa late 1980’s NYC Lower Eastside. It’s crowned with an array of industrial fluorescent light fixtures symbolically celestial reaching toward a disappearing point in a seemingly forced perspective to eternity. A very raw physical environment with a unique spirituality combined. Having a team like this with Production Manager Beth Ellen Spencer is what makes directing at Paramount such a privilege: with Theresa Ham Costume Design, Adam Rosenthal Sound Design, Sarah Ross Prop Design and Jason Pikscher Technical Director, I’m thrilled for our audience and for our cast to be looking forward to this fantastic production design. And can I tell you how well the casting is shaping up? I think so! Here’s the scoop, dear friend; five of the eight leads are in place: Sawyer Smith is “Angel,” Evan Martin is “Tom Collins,” Meghan Murphy is “Joanne,” Andrew Mueller is “Mark” and Adaeze’ Kelley is “Mimi.” A knock out principal cast! The most excellent Ensemble is: Aaron Conklin, Lillie Cummings, Raven Monique Dockery, Victoria Elena Nones, Gannon O’Brien, Michael Potsic, and Neil Stratman. Extraordinary! But with rehearsals beginning in mid-February, I’m beside myself to have it complete. There is a kind of inexplicable veil of destiny that suspends over the casting of a show that marvels time after time. How dashed hopes turn into opportunities…an almost fateful purposefulness I can’t help but recognize as at once uncontrollable and meant to be…and ultimately how it all seems to be the right thing for everyone involved. Do your honest best. Put it out there. It’s simply out of your hands. Keep the faith; what is supposed to happen happens. Que, sera’, baby! Ha! And look the sun is shining so bright now! A sunshiny day but cold, brothers and sisters! Keep warm!
I’ll be reporting with casting updates as the returns come in but for now…I gotta run!
See ya later,