A pale blue-white sky, birds chirp a tune upon fresh, new, green lace tree tops. Shorty is poised at the window, regal and alert overseeing the Tuesday morning garbage truck; it snorts and signals its weekly pick up below. Peaceful Downtown Aurora dawns. But at the office today, I expect a bit of turbulence and doubt. Casting is almost complete for CATS as we wait for confirmation from a couple of actors who may yet decline. MARY POPPINS is nearly done as well, except for our “Bert” and young “Michael.” TOMMY is nigh finished save for a final few in the Ensemble. LES MIZ, is just beginning; a huge turnout expected for this Sunday’s call. You should hear how we celebrate in the office every return who accepts. I gotta say I can’t help whooping it up when we get a “Yes!” I’ve been an actor all my life and am awed by the talent coming to Paramount. At auditions I say to myself, “I could never do that. What’s it like to be able to do that?!” It’s fantastic how the music and stories of next season have the benefit of these actors and singers and dancers! Season Four promises to be a year of spectacular performances! But you can understand the concern over the unknown compliment of the casting. Every individual is so integral to the effectiveness of the creative team’s work. Our directors, choreographers, music directors and designers over three seasons have come to expect “not a weak link” in the company. We are proud and very lucky to have this reputation so quickly. And ever grateful. Now if our luck will just hold out! You know, it’s more than luck. I firmly believe that with every company, I can look around and honestly say, “This is the cast that is meant to be here.” The entire Broadway Series feels this way: that this beautiful temple of a theater was perhaps always destined to have her own. Paramount has become a Regional Theatre, a part of Chicago Theatre and will be Jeff Award eligible for the first time next season. She has stood here for over 80 years and now is home to her own work in her own right. By the grace of God. So keep a good thought, Dear Reader, positive and true. There is much to celebrate and much to be hopeful for. I look up now, and Shorty has wound himself up in a ball, dreaming. CATS indeed!
Love & thanks,