Greetings, dear reader! Recovering from the weekend and Paramount’s West Side Story opening on Saturday night, I realize the weight, the heaviness we have all been carrying. The production’s choreographer, William Carlos Angulo, just sent me a text as to how overwhelmed he is to everyone’s response to our “brilliant beast!”

The disturbing reality we found in the work and could not deny it, weighed heavily on us as a team, responding responsibly, collaborating on a piece everyone has expectations of, as it is as well the most distinguished composition of the great Leonard Bernstein. And here we are on Tuesday, and the response is indeed, yes, overwhelming to us.

Immediately, I pick up the phone and call William: “Look what you’ve done! Look at what is happening!” “Oh Jim thank you!” “You did it, William! Everything we ever wanted the audience to feel! They are so affected by it!”

And I sit here and reflect on it with you. Five seasons of our Broadway Subscription Series, and I still cannot comprehend how we are doing this. How is all of this happening right here in Aurora? Tim Rater, our board, our office and production staff, our actors and musicians and our phenomenal audience support at the box office and the fact I cannot escape: this is all meant to happen. This is all as it is supposed to be.

I’ve made mistakes, ladies and gentlemen, but learning what it takes to serve our Community and do everything possible to create great work accessible to everyone is worth every apology I make in gaining the experience shared and taught to me. Good will, good fortune and gratitude is all we have and all by the grace of God.

Love & thanks,