Good morning! Winter white sun filtering through clouds over the snow-covered banks of The Fox! So full of anticipation this final week for TOMMY closing Feb. 15th and rehearsals for LES MISERABLES on the horizon! Seeing TOMMY Sunday brought home renewed appreciation for what it means to collaborate with so many caring, gifted individuals with a love for their work. I can hardly call it my show, dear friends, as I see the hand of so many contributing to this achievement that is Paramount’s TOMMY. The rhythms of the show, the smoothness and timing, suspending emotions, tensions, aloft throughout is due to a intricately choreographed group of artists onstage and backstage following the calls voiced and directed by our Stage Manager Rose Marie Packer. With Tom Vendafreddo conducting our Paramount Rock Band and Tom Scanlon at the Sound Board, we have a triumvirate of dedication to the highest quality at every performance. On a daily basis, I receive emails from members of our audience personally taking the time to reinforce and commend our work on TOMMY. Somehow this production moves them to write about their experience in our theatre, their pride in its consistent standard of excellence from the beginning four short years ago. It’s this ownership I’m observing as I watch that is spectacular to my mind. The artists own this. The audience owns this. This achievement of everyone together fills them up, feeds their soul as a unified community. It is rare. Special. So gratifying to know we have this support when the going gets tough!

The challenges yet unknown (and as hard as we plan they do arise) begin anew a week from tomorrow with LES MISERABLES pre-rehearsals. These rehearsals concentrate on the massive score and its demands on the actors note by note, line by line. With the actors seated or standing at music stands, these Principal Pre-rehearsals are an in depth look into what the composers, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil have written and how Music Director Tom Vendafreddo initiates how he will conduct their singing with The Paramount Orchestra. (You are right to recognize the names of Schonberg and Boublil as they are the very same team who wrote MISS SAIGON which played to tremendous success in our production here at Paramount last season.) A late morning Production Meeting is planned for tomorrow for updates on the elaborate set by Kevin Depinet and lighting design by Jesse Klug for “Les Miz.” More meetings for costumes by Theresa Ham and wigs by Katie Cordts and Lauren Cecil later in the week.

People from all over, from teens to seniors, are sharing the theatrical experience that is TOMMY which I believe is another benchmark in excellence for what we can make right here in Aurora, dear reader. Please come and share this moment if you haven’t already. You may be sitting with someone who’s already seen it once or twice!

Love & thanks,