Quick update, folks! Sweeney Todd auditions are in full swing. Yesterday at capacity, scores of actors were turned away, and we’re back today at AEA’s downtown space attending a second full day of artists. Astounding to be here with so many new faces: seasoned pros to fresh out of school hopefuls.

With Team Paramount Casting Director Trent Stork, Music Director Tom Vendafreddo and Company Manager Kaylee Oost, I’m sharing the extraordinary pleasure of receiving the gift of talent within each of those entering the room (and with Austin Cook at the piano today!). There have been surprises, the best of the best, brought out of so many due to the demands of Stephen Sondheim’s lustrous score. Everyone stepping up their game. This doesn’t get old!

I sit behind the table with caring, engaged colleagues and marvel at the privilege afforded us to hear the singing actors’ work and benefit from their dedication and training, practice and preparation. The presence of the actor brings concept and approach into tangible focus making what being thought about as ideas and visualized into doable and actual. There are so many ways to go, and the very beginnings of forming an ensemble take shape, fitting actors into different groups that seem to match, enhance and complement each other.

My crew has just returned to the room bringing lunch, so I’ll wrap it up here until next week. I saw Paramount’s West Side Story twice this weekend, and the experience is more potent, even more powerful as this company hits its stride with great depth, richer than ever. The story’s social and political relevance is resonating striking, unsettling and disturbing as the beauty in the actors’ work magnifies the pleasures of Leonard Bernstein’s monumental score. The artistry of this cast ever devoted continually reveals more truth from within this tragic tale and within themselves.

Love & thanks,


buy tickets to west side story

renew your subscription

pre-order new subscription


Sent from my iPad