We are right smack dab in the middle of TOMMY rehearsals, and dear reader, this cast is a sensation! Brock Clawson’s choreography is pushing this ensemble to their technical and emotional limits, and the result is nothing short of breathtaking. The church scene in “Christmas” packs a punch of mind-bending visceral and psychological complexity, and the teenagers’ transformation in “Sensation” from a mob of bullies to 10yo Tommy’s new found hero worshipers devastates. Already! All of this is in its initial stage of development. But that’s not saying we have all this time! Audiences don’t realize how quickly we have to put these epic scale productions together. After about 14 days in the rehearsal hall, we move to the theater across the street and start all over from the top of the show, bit by bit, coordinating sets, music, lights, sound, props, costumes, wigs to be ready to open by Wednesday, January 14th’s first public performance, our first preview. These “Tech Days” are long, hard, detailed and slow…which can be nerve wracking. Right now the pressure is on to be ready for them! What makes all of this worthwhile is to be surrounded by talent of rare excellence in every aspect of production. To hear this cast sing under Tom Vendafreddo’s musical direction is a thrill in itself worthy of the price of admission. What a wall of sound! And this with only Tom’s simply genius playing on piano! Adding the full measure of Paramount’s orchestra guarantees a mind-blowing theatrical experience, ladies and gentlemen. The collaboration with Tom and Brock is a first for us, and I am in what I call “director’s heaven.” To be working with them and this dynamite cast is a reward in itself, and I’m so grateful for every day. But we have a long way to go! This morning, we begin “Pinball Wizard.” Can you believe what a cool job I have? I cannot believe it!
If you haven’t seen MARY POPPINS, get your tickets today! It’s selling out and closes this Sunday, Jan. 4th. Here’s a show that seems it would have been able to run all next year, the way these crowds have been ecstatic over the superb performances and physical beauty of this production! I can say I never really appreciated this show as much as I do now that our company has worked on it. I have a new appreciation for it’s heart and message and its terrific score. Encouraging folks to check out our Broadway Subscription Series, I often hear, especially from men, “well, it’s just not our thing.” I promise you, if you catch your first Paramount Theatre production, you’ll want to see them all! Men: be a hero! Get your family to MARY POPPINS this week!
I’ll see you here next week and let you know if there is any roof left to the rehearsal hall after we rehearse “Pinball Wizard” this morning!
And Happy New Year, 2015!
Love and thanks,