Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning!

For your behind the scenes perspective this week, I report we are enjoying a serendipitous event at the very start of rehearsals for RENT.  I perceive everyone in the cast and behind the scenes can feel it.  We had our first full company meet and greet yesterday, and that undeniable energy and sense of destiny and purposefulness permeates the voyage we are about to embark upon. Tim Rater’s remarks welcoming the cast expressed how gratifying it is to have them here after the hard work for months of searching and hiring.  Tim stressed the importance of this production and RENT’s story for Paramount. Marketing VP Jim Jarvis addressed the public relations campaign serving the work we are about to accomplish and our audience’s awareness of what we are about to do.  Jarvis rallied and applause rang through the hall. There couldn’t be better production partners than Rater and Jarvis.  Gratitude abounds.  And what we are all most grateful for is this: the cast is perfect.  The synchronicity of the right artists at the right time gathered together for this particular event is electric.  The air in the rehearsal hall crackles with promise for this cast.  Sparks of acknowledgement flash in their eyes as their voices lift off for the first time together. Led by Music Director Shawn Stengel at the keyboard, spontaneous responses of compliments, coaching and direction burst forth from Shawn and myself unable to hold back our enthusiasm. Who says lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice?  And I couldn’t help but reflect on how the wind and snow whipping up a storm outside our windows was matched by the force of the talent in the room!

I’m off to rehearsal, as we begin the first scenes of the story.  This morning, Choreographer Katie Spelman stages the title song from the show, “Rent”.

The young frustrated film maker “Mark Cohen” played by Andrew Mueller sings at the top of the number:

“HOW DO YOU DOCUMENT REAL LIFE
WHEN REAL LIFE’S GETTING MORE
LIKE FICTION EACH DAY?”

and later in the song with the full company:

“HOW DO YOU LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND
WHEN IT KEEPS FINDING WAYS TO GET IN YOUR HEART?
IT REACHES WAY DOWN DEEP AND TEARS YOU INSIDE OUT
TIL YOU’RE TORN APART!

RENT!”

Keep good thoughts for us while we work.
See ya here next week.

Jim