Over the Fox River, the sun is trying to shine through heavy clouds of dark gray as I write you, dear reader, about the profound loss that has struck our Chicago theatre community. While we have a spectacular production in rehearsal and final dress tonight (1st Preview at tomorrow’s matinee), we are working through a sadness unbelievable. Chicago actors, Molly Glynn, Trinity Murdock, Sati Word, Bernie Yvon, properties designer Joel Lambie and WGN’s legendary arts & entertainment critic and interviewer, Roy Leonard, recently passed away. Molly and Bernie were taken from us in separate tragic accidents on Saturday, shaking so many of us to the core like a shock wave ripping through the very heart of our Chicago theatre family. Saturday afternoon, in a kind of daze of horrific disbelief being told about Bernie just minutes before, I’m standing surreal before our cast and company of CATS to announce the news many had not heard. “We have to go on. We have work to do. This is the work they loved to do and was so important to them, meant so much to them. Let’s get this done and do it for them.” Our soul as a community aches. These individuals are not only the brightest and best that played on our stages but beloved and cherished for their loving, caring, fun, spirited humanity. They were the light in so many countless lives. Ladies and gentlemen, as you leave the preview performance of CATS on Thursday night it will be lights out on the Paramount Theatre marquee as we join the dimming of lights of all the Chicago theater marquees across town and beyond. To celebrate, commemorate and remember the beauty and love they gave to us onstage and off is the only way to make sense of this. Please join us and understand that honoring the light of their brilliant talent, big warm hearts and shining souls will get us through this dark time. It is gratifying to receive and share the deep sympathy expressed by loving friends of those who have passed and if I may say, on a personal note: my heart goes out to Matt Raftery and his family and the wonderful Yvon family. I loved your Bernie very much.

Ah! Here comes the sun!

My love and thanks,