Those who attended Sunday night’s opening of A Christmas Story received an early Christmas present this year. Beyond the beautifully festive tree and lighted wreaths,  the lobby doors closed on a full house sitting in the darkened theater, and with the stroke of the baton in the hand of Music Director/Conductor Tom Vendafreddo, the grand velvet curtain rose as the music swelled to reveal the start of a great story; the funny, heartwarming tale of “another time, another place.” It is captivating, mystifying, the magic of Opening Night at Paramount! 

We all got a great gift, and by that, I mean our cast, crew, production and design team. It went so smoothly, looked so easy, effortless, and just in the nick of time! Production delays, technical glitches, all were behind us, and our company together delivered a performance that sent a smiling, lighthearted holiday crowd humming onto Galena Boulevard and beyond. We made it.

Right now, I’m sitting in the back row of the Copley Theatre watching Paramount’s West Side Story Choreographer William Carlos Angulo and his Assistant Erin Kilmurray, our latest and so very welcome addition to this cast, creating the dance combination for this afternoon’s dance call. WSS brings a stark contrast to this season, ladies and gentlemen. The challenge in this work about young Puerto Rican immigrant street gangs versus American gangs in Manhattan circa 1950 is kicking our butts. Contrasts. Brutal reality. Fine art. Bigotry, hatred, murder, a cautionary tale of violence and youth and first love played to Leonard Bernstein’s symphonic, percussive, jazz score is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We saw wonderful work in this morning’s auditions. Actors solidifying and confirming that our demands on the work are on the right track. Promising. Angulo’s work, territorial, raw, animalistic, the dancing excites, electrifies. 

Love & thanks,


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