Good day, all! Short and sweet this morning…auditions for Season 4 and plans for CATS production design are pretty much gobbling up every minute! Wouldn’t I love to put my feet up and smoke a fat cigar reliving the high points of Season 3…on a beach in the Caribbean! (Btw, I don’t smoke cigars, just sayin’.) But no! Submissions are coming in from all over the country from actors, directors, choreographers and designers; all of them having seen or heard of the work going on at Paramount and wanting to be a part of it, and I’m just slammed here with meetings, appointments, and keeping up with everyone’s interest and enthusiasm! I want to share the remarks from a diverse selection of messages and emails I’ve received. This first one, in a lovely hand written card,  is from a suburban couple I would very much like to meet:

“Dear Mr. Corti,
In 2012, I wrote you about how wonderful the musicals are. My Fair Lady couldn’t be topped anywhere.
I had expressed disappointment in not seeing the cast again in the Finale of A Chorus Line & you wrote & explained why.
Now I find myself delighted on the conclusion of Rent. No matter what their part, everyone stood together equally.
Rent made me sympathize with the people it represented in ways I didn’t expect.
Please share with the cast how much they made us care about their character. We sit center front on opening day matinees so we don’t miss anything.
Once again you have provided us with a variety of truly magnificent performances.
You do yourself and the Paramount proud.”

Next, this young Dad, a teacher, had started messaging me on FB in anticipation weeks before arriving at the show (Rent). Of course I met with them afterwards and got the cast to come out and say hello as well:

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I may have given the tickets as a gift to my son, but the joy of watching him experience the performance was a gift you and your cast gave to me. Do you know how close I was to buying two more tickets and staying for the second show! You really created something special! I’m sure you could tell by (his son’s) emotion how much it touched him. Really, can you not just box it up and go on tour? (His son) cannot stop talking about his experience. He keeps referring to it as “life changing” – whatever that means to a 16 year old! Lol look forward to seeing you next season at some point.”

And this final email from a young woman, a teacher as well:

“I just wanted to say thank you for an amazing afternoon at the theater! (Her son) and I truly enjoyed every moment of Rent.  We laughed and cried a lot, and sang the whole way home.  Having seen Rent  many times before, including Anthony Rapp’s production, I thought I had seen every side and view of Rent, but your production shed a new light on so many moments.   The entire show moved us, but I especially appreciated the very beginning of the show with Roger and his guitar, the creative and clever use of the pit, the haunting ascension of Angel up the stairs, the touching video, but most of all, the still and simple character driven moments of “I’ll Cover You” and “Your Eyes.”

Bravo to your entire staff, cast and crew.  I know that you touched so many people’s lives through your lens of this story.

Wishing you continued success and all the best.”

I believe this kind of a response is what defines a functioning theatre. This is what is happening here at Paramount and at theaters all over Chicago; from the biggest, most prestigious to the smaller, most adventurous companies. Paramount is the “new kid” on the scene and excited to be a part of it; the best theatre town in the country!

Love & Thanks,