Greetings, dear reader, and apologies! I’m a day late writing to you! From my hotel room in New York City’s Theatre District! I returned to my home back east to attend my brother’s wedding in New Hope, Pennsylvania. It was a night of joy and love and light embraced by everyone there and was especially moving for me to be with my family whom I see so rarely. But I missed the closing of CATS and my family there at Paramount on the conclusion of their phenomenal five week run on Sunday night. I think the best way to express how it feels is to share with you my words to them I sent Sunday morning:
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you. Paramount’s CATS is a very special show. Not only do your skills and talents shine. Everyone accomplished beyond what they thought they could ever do. This is the very thing I hope Paramount is becoming about. I’m absent today unable to thank you, hug you, hold you. I’m back east for the mind blowing wedding my baby brother and his partner just threw themselves last night. But I have to tell you I miss not being there to see your final performance of this run. I’ve seen every closing performance of every show we’ve done until now. The artistry, refinement and, by comparison, the great maturity in the work slays me on the last show. I love nothing more than to sit in the dark at the back of the theater and attend how it all adds up. It is majestic. I miss that majesty this evening. Please savor and enjoy the reach of all your work together on those sitting in the dark there tonight who get the privilege to see what you’ve done. I’m there in spirit proud to be a part of you and ever grateful for you.”
So here I am in Midtown Manhattan just down the street from the apartment I lived in for ten years; back in the old neighborhood of my days on Broadway. Tomorrow, I have a meeting here with the great Mike Tutaj, to discuss the projection design plot for TOMMY. Mike did beautiful, powerful work on Paramount’s ANNIE and MISS SAIGON, and I am thrilled to have this face-to-face meeting with him now that’s he’s moved here just north of the city.
Running from house to house between Pennsylvania and New Jersey and airport to train station, I caught an email forwarded to me, before the battery drained on my trusty iPhone, that I have to share with you as well. It’s from our Mayor, Aurora’s own, Tom Weisner:
“Finally got to CATS on Saturday night. Took our granddaughter, Olivia, and a friend. Basically went for her sake, as I didn’t think I would care much for the play.
IT WAS SENSATIONAL!!! Loved everything about it. There was an unbelievable amount of talent on that stage . . . And considering the casting, the set design, the choreography and the music quality, there was an equal level of talent offstage.
I don’t suppose a Mayor’s opinion makes much difference when it comes to theater, but feel free to convey my admiration to everyone involved, Mr. Corti included.
What a guy! Yes, it makes a difference, Tom! And Tom’s last comment reminds me of the answer I gave to a family friend over the weekend who asked:”What exactly does an artistic director do?”
“I get to take credit for the brilliant work of a lot of incredible people.”
Love and thanks,